Heroin in Schools?

Is heroin use in Simi Valley a problem that starts in our schools?  If you believe it is, then you may be inspired to pay attention to this year’s local elections.

Dan White is running for Simi Valley School Board and communicated openly to the Heroin Task Force members his thoughts on the subject last week, as well as his thoughts on the strength and accuracy of the draft report that was being circulated among the members before the presentation to the City.  Here is a small sample of that communication:

In this 52 second video excerpt from the June SVUSD School Board meeting, we hear School Board President DiFatta’s summary of the activities of the Task Force.

Transcribed, her words are as follows:

“… it has been fairly consistent when we look at any of the data – from any source – that we are targeting that – or should be looking at that 19 to 25 year old age group – that seems to be where we want to focus. That seems to be where we want to focus much energy with regard to the heroin use … in this community anyway. And so the thought was that working with our local community college would be a good idea because that is where that segment of the population might be.”

I do not share Ms. Difatta’s conclusions. Instead, I believe that the public comments provided ample evidence that focus needs to be placed on the schools.  What she is saying is that the public comments from our citizens do not constitute “evidence”.

I also believe the draft report circulated last Friday to Task Force members has obviously been influenced by SVUSD leaders. The report circulated Friday has 4 pages describing all the wonderful things the SVUSD has been doing and will continue to do per the recommendations of the task force. It states that many of the new “recommendations” refer to continuation of the “same successful programs already ongoing”.   In the preparation of the official draft report, the recommendations appear to have been changed between the evaluation spreadsheet and the published report. The modified version of recommendations in the report states that “All Agencies” are responsible for a drug education program. However in the evaluation spreadsheets circulated to task force members the week prior, the SVUSD was listed as the responsible agency.

The report circulated Friday is not the right report.  The report that more accurately presents the information is attached to this e-mail.

To view the report proposed by Dan White, click here.

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