Providing a safe and supportive learning environment for all students is a continual goal of the Greene County Schools. Of particular concern in society today is the rise of marijuana use that in some respects can be linked to the legalization of marijuana in four states (Colorado, Oregon, Washington, Alaska) and the District of Columbia. According to nationwide surveys conducted by the University of Michigan in 2014, 11.7 percent of 8th-graders reported marijuana use in the past year and 6.5 percent were current users. Among 10th-graders, 27.3 percent had used marijuana in the past year and 16.6 percent were current users. Rates of use among 12th-graders were higher still: 35.1 percent had used marijuana during the year prior to the survey and 21.2 percent were current users; 5.8 percent said they used marijuana daily or near-daily. Similar data is collected every two years in Iowa at the state and local level using the Iowa Youth Survey. This survey asks students at the 6th, 8th, and 11th grade level to report on marijuana use. According to the 2014 survey, 23% of Greene County 11th graders reported having used marijuana, 9% reported using marijuana in the previous 30 days.
These national statistics are very alarming. In an attempt to be proactive, the Greene County Schools is partnering with the Greene County Sheriff’s Department and the Jefferson Police Department to shine a light on this issue and do our best to provide a safe and supportive learning environment for students at the Greene County Schools. Deputy Sheriff Jack Williams and his K9 partner Leo have permission to come to any of the Greene County Schools any day unannounced to conduct a search of the premises (lockers, parking lot, etc.). Previously, a time and date was set for these searches. While marijuana has been found in vehicles during previous searches, none has been found in any of the school buildings. Arrangements have also been made with both the Jefferson Police Department and the Greene County Sheriff’s Office to send an officer to the schools to conduct a field sobriety test on any student that is suspected to be under the influence of drugs.
As a county/community we ask that you help us with this endeavor of providing a safe and supportive environment for our young people.