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Mailbag: Think outside the box to fight drug use

April 21, 2010

Regarding Dorothy Beck’s April 15 letter titled “Suspensions not proper punishment,” she asks if the school administration, parents or police can’t responsibly handle the alarming alcohol/drug problems in schools, who else can? The answer is — the students.

Well-meaning coalitions formed to fight increasing substance abuse in our schools and communities have come and gone over the past 20 years, and the problem keeps getting worse.

The question that needs to be asked is, “Why?” Why are our kids wanting to use more alcohol and drugs with each new generation?

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More drug-sniffing dogs, police presence, addiction specialists and absurd voluntary drug testing are like the tail trying to wag the dog. Historically, the war on drugs has focused on controlling the supply or increasing punishments. It has not worked, and it never will by itself.

Schools need to break out of the limitations of traditional thinking, look at new effective models of behavioral education and integrate these smarter concepts into curricula.

They need to recognize that the enormous imbalance in the educational systems that focus on left-brain, half-brain learning are in fact contributing to the increase in students’ substance abuse along with an out-of-balance society.

Every year the faces in my driving under the influence programs get younger and younger.

And every year I see thousands of people change their lives by balancing their brains.

If you want some new thinking about drinking and drug use in our schools and our society, you will find it at www.righton programs.org. Students will change the demand for alcohol and drugs only when they learn and experience a better way to reduce stress, have fun and feel good.

JOHN MARSHALL

Glendale

Bunny suits don’t belong in stings

I fully support the comments of Councilman John Drayman and reject the attempt to reframe this criticism as being anti-police (“Thankful for police ‘bunny sting,’” April 20).

The facts are that Glendale has been doing these costumed stings for awhile. During that time, the rate of pedestrian accidents has generally gone up, so much so that Glendale has been named the third-riskiest city in the United States in which to drive.

So I ask you, is the bunny sting re-educating the drivers who are at fault? Obviously not.

What these costumed stings do is create a setting on the street that is not the norm.

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