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School Efforts Against Drugs

November 22, 1987

In a recent editorial (Nov. 15) you were correct in pointing out that undercover drug operations won't solve the drug problem in our schools. Would that it were so simple!

However, one positive aspect of undercover drug operations is that they give a student an easy way to "say no" to the temptation to do or deal drugs. A student who needs help saying no in the face of negative peer pressure to say otherwise can point to this recent "sting" as a deterrent.

Of course, we don't hope to change the course of the war against drugs with a single undercover drug operation. After all, a school hopes to educate, tries to teach its students to make appropriate life choices.

At Huntington Beach High School, as in other schools in our district, we have in place pro-active programs aimed at the real issue: the student's choice. Peer assistance groups provide friendship and encouragement, and a community-based counseling service visits our campus on a weekly basis to hold group and individual sessions for students.

Several of our teachers have received specific training in this area, and a full-time, on-site psychologist counsels students who want to talk about their life choices.

But students attend school only six hours out of 24, and it is impossible for them to leave at classroom doors the emotional baggage they carry in from their before- and after-school lives.

High schools are only a microcosm of the communities they serve, and while we will continue to fight the battle, we must ask for reinforcements from parents and the rest of the community.

MARGARET FISHBECK

Huntington Beach

Fishbeck is community resource coordinator at Huntington Beach High School.

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