“Hidden in Plain Sight”

TR Staff
Staff Writer

By Ellie Boese
“Are you aware of the potential ways that students can hide their drug and alcohol use?  Do you frequently visit your teenager's bedroom?” the flyer for Valley City High School’s upcoming parent information event says. On March 28th from 6:30-8 p.m. in the VCHS theatre,
Valley City High School officer Sean Hagen, along with VCHS administration, counseling staff, theatre advisor and peer facilitators, City County Health and local law enforcement will host a free interactive event for parents focused around awareness of the signs in identifying potential teenagers’ chemical use.
VCPS Officer Sean Hagen said that the idea for the event came up in one of the weekly administrative meetings.
“We had been having discussion about how some parents may not even know what some of the current trends in chemical use are, what officers are seeing within the community as far as concealing contraband and different warning signs we see in the school,” Hagen said. “So we decided to pull together a parent educational night to expose some of that information.”
The event will be interactive, with parents/guardians having the opportunity to do a walk-through of a “mock bedroom” to identify signs of substance use. As an interactive event, Hagen hopes that parents are able to take away knowing they wouldn’t otherwise find in a lecture-only type of session.
“It’s definitely [in identifying] the visual component of the artifacts and ways that young people can conceal certain items, sometimes in plain sight,” he said. “The ability for us to be able to demonstrate to parents some of the modern ways that students are concealing contraband is beneficial for all parents and guardians.”
Every parent/guardian who attends the event will come away with free parent kits, “keep talking kits,” with information about local resources.
“We are using Law enforcement, the drug task force and City County Health as resources for the community,” Hagen said. “We will also be sharing information from the ‘Parents Lead’ organization [and] be presenting talking points in helping parents talk to their children about a variety of topics as well.
There will also be a Q&A with VCPS administration, Police Chief Phil Hatcher and SRO Hagen. Join them on March 28th in the VCHS theatre, 6:30-8 p.m., to learn more about how you can to take charge in saying #notinmyhouse.
“We look at this,” Hagen said, “as a unique way to expose some simple warning signs that can be easily overlooked.”