Carroll Co. Schools use interactive event to teach parents about teen drug use

Posted at 11:38 PM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-27 23:38:12-04
Carroll County Public Schools used a unique, interactive way to raise parents' awareness about the drug problem facing teens.
The school system and the state's attorney's office created a mock bedroom that had drug use red flags hidden throughout.  Some parents said they knew a lot of the tricks, others learned something.
"I knew some of the stuff but it was interesting to see some of the things.  I thought I didn't realize that or I didn't know that," said parent Valerie Estes. 
Estes walked into the classroom at Manchester Valley High School, made to look like a teen's bedroom, maybe even one similar to her own child's.
"We bring up all kinds of things and have conversations but you still wonder.  Now, I wonder how honest ar they being with me?"
Those are exactly the type of questions school and county leaders wanted parents to ask themselves. 
"What you realize is that parents are really their first line of defense when it comes to drug addiction and we wanted to create a program that made them detectives," Carroll County State's Attorney, Brian DeLeonardo, told ABC2.
Parents did become detectives and combed through the mock room, look for clues of drug use.  The also watched a film that told the story of a mother's loss.  Many parents learned and felt new things. 
"I thought I knew what to look for.  There were some things that were not new to me, I had learned about them in other places but there are definitely some things that I learned tonight that now I might go home and check their rooms," said parent, Becky Tesch.
And while there were light moments as moms and dads played detective, the harsh reality of a growing epidemic, went home with them.
"It's frightening every day. Every single day I just pray for my children and pray that I will catch the signs and recognize them and that my children will come to me," Tesch said.
County and school system leaders say they plan to work together again on programs like this one in the future.