Gang violence article mentions Roosevelt High School

For those of you who didn't catch it when reading yesterday's Seattle Times article about Seattle Public Schools response to gang violence, the article mentions Roosevelt High School.

"School records show Roosevelt and Ingraham High Schools in North Seattle have reported more safety and security incidents this school year than Central and South Seattle schools."

"The reports cover a broad gamut of incidents from 'aggression' to 'suspicious circumstances.' Many incidents at Roosevelt and Ingraham deal with graffiti, marijuana use, and iPod and cellphone theft in or near the schools. Some also concern gang-related fights and threats."

The reason I point this out is to highlight the prevalence of marijuana use among high school students in northeast Seattle. Not only do students at Roosevelt and Nathan Hale High Schools report alcohol use rates that are higher than the state average, they report marijuana use rates that are higher than the state average (2006 Healthy Youth Survey). During a recent Prevention Works In Seattle coalition meeting, a police officer and staff from a local drug/alcohol treatment agency noted that marijuana seems to be more accessible to youth in our community than alcohol.

I realize that we live in a community that may think that marijuana use should be legal, but please note that even organizations that are fighting to legalize marijuana do not believe it should be used by youth.

Most students do not use! Though marijuana and alcohol use rates among teenagers in NE Seattle are higher than the state average, this does not mean that most of our high school students use. In fact, MOST Roosevelt and Nathan Hale High School students DO NOT use drugs or alcohol. As a community, it's important to remember this and reward exemplary behavior.