At Tuesday night's Sheridan County School District 2 board meeting, Assistant Superintendent Tom Sachse went over some of the results of the most recent Youth Risk Behavior Survey for 2009. The areas surveyed covered areas regarding injury and violence, tobacco use, alcohol and other drug use, sexual behaviors and nutrition and weight.
There were some areas of improvement from when the survey was done two years ago. At the junior high level, seatbelt use has gone up, suicidal ideation has gone down, alcohol drinking has gone down, and cigarette smoking has gone down.
At the high school level, signs of improvement include more students wearing helmets while riding bicycles and fewer students smoking. However, areas of concern include lack of seatbelt use, electronic bullying – which is significantly above the state average -- suicidal ideation, access to cigarettes, access to alcohol and marijuana use, which is significantly above the state average. Sachse comments on the report.
It's frustrating, from the standpoint of media outlets and prevention agencies who work hard to get the word out about the seriousness of the issue but who can't seem to get community buy-in to help turn the tide around.
Dirleen Wheeler, principal at Sheridan High School, told the board that kids need things to do and to be involved in activities, saying that the 16- to 17-year-old age group especially can fall through the cracks.