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Keep schools alcohol free

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I am the parent of a ninth grade student who attends Superior High School in the School District of Superior. The school district has provided my child with an excellent education, along with many positive experiences and opportunities. I am very grateful for the hard work and dedication of all district staff and school board members. Recently, the Superior Board of Education voted to move forward with plans to suspend the district’s drug-free workplace policy on April 17. The one-day policy waiver is a staff development day, allowing Superior High School to host the Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour. The Tailgate Tour coincides with the groundbreaking ceremony for the school’s new outdoor sports complex, and beer will be served at the event. Children may be present at this school-sponsored activity, with alcohol served in a public school setting. Other sites of the Tailgate Tour are not in public school settings. The Superior School District Bylaws and Policies, “5530-Drug Prevention,” include the following: “The Board of Education recognizes that the misuse of drugs is a serious problem with legal, physical, and social implications for the entire community. The Board prohibits the use, possession, concealment, or distribution of any drug and any drug-paraphernalia at any time on District property or at any District-related event. It provides standards of conduct that are applicable to all students which clearly prohibit, at a minimum, the unlawful possession, use, or distribution of drugs as defined herein and alcohol by students on school premises or as a part of any school activity. For the purpose of this policy, ‘drugs’ shall mean … C. all alcoholic beverages.” Many of the students at Superior High School are Pledge Makers, pledging not to use alcohol and drugs including tobacco, and are subject to random drug testing during their entire high school career. It is a pledge to self, parents and their community, “I pledge not to use alcohol and other drugs including tobacco. I realize alcohol and drugs can have harmful effects. I want to remain alcohol and drug free. To support my pledge to remain alcohol and drug free, I agree to be subject to random suspicion less drug testing.” Students participating in sports and extracurricular activities must sign a “Code of Conduct,” and are also subject to random drug testing. Graduating students are offered an “All Night Chemical Free Grad Party.” When the school is providing an environment where alcohol is being served, is this not a contradictory message? We have the opportunity to continue to be positive role models by supporting the student’s pledges to remain drug and alcohol free. We also need to keep our public schools drug and alcohol free. Would it be possible to host the Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour at Superior High School without serving alcohol? If the event requires alcohol, would it be possible to move it to the University of Wisconsin Superior’s Wessman Arena? As an educator, I have witnessed the devastating and long-term effects of alcohol and drug abuse, on children and their families. Douglas County has historically had a high rate of alcohol and drug abuse. We have this opportunity to revoke the waiver, and have a positive impact on our community. Please contact the School District of Superior to voice your support for keeping our public school premises and activities drug and alcohol free. We could then celebrate the groundbreaking of the new sports complex with the Green Bay Packer Tailgate Tour, and know we are doing it drug and alcohol free, or in an appropriate setting. We would then be honoring student pledges, and modeling by example, leaving our public school environment drug and alcohol free.

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