No Child Left Behind: Drug-Free Style
In predominantly African American communities, and especially impoverished communities, like historic Selma, Alabama, the school to prison pipeline has reigned supreme. While many school districts across the nation have stepped into the 21st century and view substance use disorders as a public health issue, unfortunately many districts in communities like ours remain having strict drug policies that requires students struggling with substance use disorders to be suspended, expelled and even in some cases arrested for their drug use. The Hope Dealers of Dallas County established the Bridge of Hope program in 2018, partnering the Bridge Youth rehabilitation service with our local middle and high schools, giving kids free access to drug therapists and other important resources for their road to recovery. We also worked with the city and county school systems to change their policies, requiring students to enter into the Bridge program, where they would usually be reprimanded or punished.
At the end of this session, participants will be able to:
1. Recognize the disparities youth in impoverished communities face when struggling with SUD's.
2. Identify schools in their community where youth share the same struggles and push for policy change.
3. Use the knowledge of the student's needs to connect them to the proper channels of assistance.