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Friday, July 6, 2012

SOS Facebook Group -- Get On Board for Schools Against Drug Abuse

SOS (Scioto's Obligation to Students) is a new Facebook Group established in summer 2012.

This group is a very valuable tool to Scioto County residents who believe it takes a united, informed community to combat drug abuse.

With a relatively small populace of under 80,000 people, Scioto needs to realize that "community" in Southern Ohio is county wide. What happens in one school district directly affects what happens in another. Our districts need to strengthen their social ties by sharing information in order to provide a comprehensive view of exactly "what's going on."

Schools must do more to advance simple, direct communication among the numerous districts in our county: communication that will benefit administrations, staffs, students, parents/caretakers, and other concerned community members.

This site will offer an open window for members to share ideas, concerns, and possible solutions to drug-related health problems that contribute to Scioto County's distinction of being one of Ohio's unhealthiest counties (87th place ranking of the 88 counties).

Scioto is also listed as one of the ten most unhealthy counties in the United States.

** A report published by the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps ranks the overall health of the residents living in the country’s 3,141 counties. The rank measures health outcomes based on the residents’ length of life (mortality) and quality of life (morbidity). According to the report, the four factors that comprise this are lifestyle, health care, environment and social and economic conditions, such as education and income.**

8. Scioto, Ohio

Premature deaths (years of life lost per 100,000): 11,262 (44th highest)

Percent reporting fair or poor health: 26% (27th highest)

Infants born with low birth weight: 9.7% (118th highest)

Children in poverty: 32% (84th highest)

Largest municipality: Portsmouth

("The Most Unhealthy Counties in America," Comcast, April 6, 2012)

Read the entire entry here:

SOS Facebook group features information about current trends and updates related to youth and drug abuse. This information will assist those willing to fight the health epidemic that threatens our existence. The hope is that the information on this site will aid drug education and encourage all people to use teamwork to achieve important goals.

Perhaps the most important goal for SOS is to function as an open forum. Through their posts, members can make new bridges into a better future. SOS will establish a strong, available online network as a tool for all schools. The purpose of the forum is to create a county-wide means of instant communication to facilitate prevention efforts and to encourage schools to interact in order to alleviate all problems associated with drug abuse.

In the past, much of the public has taken drug education in public schools for granted. In fact, research shows too little emphasis is placed on teaching youth effective strategies to deal with decision making about taking drugs. Excellent programs do exist in Scioto County; however, due to the constant changes in the environment of drug abuse, schools must constantly update and revise their drug abuse curricula. Current research is uncovering new, effective means of dealing with prevention, intervention, and treatment.

In addition, a stigma exists about schools revealing drug problems. Many schools consider exposing their drug problems as admitting their own weaknesses or failures. (Remember abused drugs include alcohol, marijuana, prescription medications, and heroin.) This “failure” view is far from true.

Exposure is the first step to applying correction. The facts already show Scioto County schools have considerable drug problems that kill a significant number of students, as do most schools in the United States. The real commitment needed is to stop labeling drug abuse as characteristic solely of a certain socio-economic class or solely of juvenile delinquents. Drug abuse today knows no such boundaries.

Drug abuse is a beast that schools must track, face, and combat with strong force. They need parents and the rest of the public to help in the fight. Keeping all matters “in house” or “undercover” can even contribute to bad rumors and false details. SOS is not a group that condones rumor-mongering or divisive tactics.

In a time when newspapers and other hard copy materials are becoming less and less effective for providing current information, SOS serves the public with utmost effectiveness. Social media is reshaping the world by allowing diverse groups to communicate and pull together to effect needed change. As schools take necessary actions en masse, they, in turn, better shape their individual districts.

On the other hand, if the populace resists coalition, conditions will not significantly improve. The task at hand is to increase active participation. The National Institute on Drug Abuse cites these strategies as effective methods of promoting prevention:

Parents can work with others in their community to increase awareness about the local drug abuse problem and the need for research-based prevention programs.

    Educators can work with others in the school system to review current programs and identify research-based prevention interventions geared toward students.
    Community leaders can organize a community group to develop a community prevention plan, coordinate resources and activities, and support research-based prevention in all sectors of the community.

Many initial efforts are already underway in individual Scioto County school districts. SOS can help coordinate a larger, more cohesive approach merely by being available to maximize communication county wide.

Join SOS Facebook group by joining Facebook and going here:!/groups/454356251250514/?bookmark_t=group


by entering SOS (Scioto's Obligation to Students) in Facebook's “Search for people, places and things.”

Please express your views. Every effort will be made to assist those who need help. Or, if members want to ask questions or report information, use SOS as a starting point for further investigation. The site becomes more influential as lines of communication grow stronger. Posts from all members help facilitate this strength.

We encourage all youth to join SOS. Young people are Scioto County's most precious resource. SOS is a place online to share students' ideas and concerns. Students, please feel free to use this Facebook group to share your feelings. Nothing you say is "stupid" or "trivial."

As a first step, we are requesting that all school boards and school board members join SOS and, together, help strengthen our county. Now is a time for leadership encouraging change -- nothing is stronger than combined human wills united under God to defeat a real and deadly evil. Too many young have already perished. Together, we can say, "Enough!" And, together, we can improve our current status.

Here is a list of Scioto school board members. These people are the leaders of our school communities. Let's put them on board SOS. Please encourage these people to join SOS and to express their views on dealing with the drug abuse problem in local schools. If you are a school board member and you read this post, please join. If you are not already a member of Facebook, please become a member to do this. Thank you very much.

Bloom-Vernon (South Webster)

Dr. Timothy Horner

Randall Simmering

Charles Queen

Melissa Smith

Harveena Fenton


Alan Boyer

Donnie Caseman

Craig Gilliland

Annie Riffe

William R. Warnock


R David Knapp

Sandi Cherry

Sandi Poe

Thom Davis

Jerry Bentley


Cliff Jenkins, Jr.

Dr. Becky Thiel

Mark Caudill

Mike Gampp

Troy Huff

New Boston

Elaine Evans - President

Nancy Clever

Patty Fannin

Ann Gilley

John Whistman


David Denny

Pam Detzel

Jim Detzel

Elaine Gauck

Dan Unger


Clarence M. Parker

Barbara J. Borden-Gibson

Dr. George Petit

Mary L. Sommer

Tom Smith


Troy Gahm

Carl Crabtree

Kathy Goins

Jerry Buckler

Charles Turner

Washington-Nile (West)

Craig Hazelbaker

Cathy Coleman

Tom Berry

Scott Journey

Jane Kouns


Matthew Miller

Rory Phillips

Donna Cunningham 

Ben Gill

Scott Jolly

We need information on the following board members:

Notre Dame?

Sciotoville Community?

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