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May 2nd, 2017
By Hilde Kate Lysiak
A day after an Orange Street News investigation revealed a shocking rise in heavy drugs like heroin inside of Selinsgrove High School, Superintendent Chad Cohrs acknowledged just how big of a drug problem is confronting the school in a letter to parents asking for the public’s help.
“The Selinsgrove Area has been experiencing a marked increase in drug activity which is impacting our students,” read the letter. “While drug and alcohol usage is not something new, the frequency and types of drugs we are seeing is cause for increased concern. The use of prescription medications such as Xanax, Vicodin, and Oxycodone are on the rise. Use of other street drugs, such as heroin, are also increasing.”
The statement comes one day after the Orange Street News exclusively reported that at least six students from Selinsgrove overdosed this year, according to multiple students at the school. As part of an ongoing investigation, the OSN spoke to several students who are currently going to Selinsgrove High School who see a drug problem spiraling out of control with no one doing anything to stop it. Students at Selinsgrove are now using Heroin, Cocaine, Molly, Spice, Meth, as well as prescription pills — sometimes inside the school, according to students.
“No one has any idea how bad it really is. It used to just be pot. Now everyone is using harder drugs. And it isn’t just the freaks. Its the kids no one would expect,” a student told the OSN.
“They will do them in the bathroom stalls so that the teachers don’t go into the stalls and if they go into the welding room for..it already smells like all the burnt wood and metal so the teachers may not even pick up on the other mixed scents if they do smoke in their,” added another student.
The letter from Cohrs defended the schools drug policies and asked that parents and students step forward to help.
“We are very concerned for the safety and wellbeing of our students,” read the letter. “We have been working with the police and the district attorney to address this issue. However, we cannot stop this alone. We are asking for your help. As we obtain information regarding sellers and users we pass it along to the authorities. Since this is not first hand information, it is usually not enough for them to act on. Frequently we will receive information regarding drug activities but the best approach is to inform the police directly. People need to be willing to step forward and provide first hand information to law enforcement.”
“Students suspected of being on drugs are searched along with their lockers and belongings,” the letter continued. “If a student is suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol, it is treated as a medical emergency. An investigation, including a search, is conducted. This process is usually the result of a concerned classmate making a report, or when a teacher witnesses questionable behavior. Anonymity of individuals reporting is protected.”
However, students have told the OSN that the anti-drug policies at Selinsgrove are a joke and that students know they are rarely if ever searched in person, so they carry the drugs on them.
The OSN has reached out to Superintendent Chad Cohrs and requested to appear a video interview about what he plans to do to keep hard drugs out of Selinsgrove High School. The OSN has not heard back.
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