More and More Drugs Found in Southern Colorado Schools

By: Jason Aubry Email
By: Jason Aubry Email

The number of drug busts in Colorado schools is on the rise, up more than 30 percent, according to numbers from the Colorado Department of Education.

Since the 2007-2008 school year, Districts 11, 20, 60, and 70 all have seen increases, some of them significant.

Colorado Springs School District 11 has had a steady rise and shown the highest percentage of increase in reported drug incidents. During the '07-'08 school year 25 incidents were reported. In '09-'10 the number of reported incidents skyrocketed up to 67. That is a 168 percent increase.

During the same period, District 20 has seen a similar trend. In the '07-'08 school year there were 38 incidents, in '09-'10 there were 88 for an increase of nearly 132 percent.

In Pueblo County, District 70 has also seen an increase in reports, but not the same stead rise as D-11. In the '07-'08 school year there were 60 reports of drug-related incidents. In '08-'09 there were 76. In '09-'10, however, they reduced the number of incidents by one to 75. They are the only one of these four school districts to have shown a decrease, albeit small, from the '08-'09 school year to '09-'10.

Meanwhile, in the city of Pueblo, District 60 has shown the biggest overall percentage of decrease in drug related incidents since the '07-'08 school year, despite a rise in reports from '08-'09. During the '07-'08 school year, 244 drug-related incidents were reported. This fell dramatically to 151 total incidents the next year. But D-60 did see a rise in reports once more from 151 in '08-'09 to 179 in '09-'10.

These numbers can be looked at a number of ways, and they provide pros and cons to the drug situation in our schools. On one hand, a high increase in drug-related incidents being reported has been attributed by several school districts to be the result of an increase in kids telling on other kids, and in some cases a harder stance against drugs by the schools themselves, which is a good thing.

However, the bad news is that it's possible that simply more kids are experimenting with drugs than have the past. We may never know which is more accurate, simply because to many variables exist, including but not limited to: the level of awareness by staff and funding for them to ferret out these drugs in our schools.

District 60 takes a different approach to their overall decrease in number of incidents. They say it's because of the work they are doing with their students after they are caught with drugs. Through grants, families of offenders can have their students tested for drugs, and put them through a drug awareness course that lasts several weeks.

District 70 takes a different approach; expulsion. So far this school year (as of November 10, 2010) D-70 has expelled 24 kids, 20 for drugs. To the same day last school year (November 10, 2009) they had expelled just 13 for drugs.

We may not ever be able to pinpoint why there has been such a large increase in our schools, but some people have an theory. According to District 60, a large part of the increase they saw from '08-'09 to '09-'10 was offenders in elementary and middle school. After interviewing the children, they found the kids were getting marijuana from family members with medical marijuana cards, and taking it to school.

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  • by Dj. Hjelm Location: Colorado Springs on Dec 2, 2010 at 01:39 PM
    Posted by: WTF Location: CoSprings on Nov 13, 2010 at 10:48 AM I'll tell you what its going to take. Its going to take America finally removing the blinders and see that the drugs are brought here and pushed by the blacks and mexicans. One day everyone will see it and take a stand to take this country back. We will continue to decline to the state of Africa and Mexico until then... This comment looks pretty much like racist toward black and mexican people. i believe Drugs is a worldwide problem. Do not just point to mexican n black people.
  • by Richard Location: Colorado Springs on Nov 13, 2010 at 12:04 PM
    It’s not surprising that kids are experimenting at an early age with drugs with such easy access about drugs with television and the internet. We are a “take a pill for everything” society so it’s easy for them to just open up the medicine cabinet and take what they want. I found it a bit disturbing that the story indicates that kids are getting their drugs from parents who are receiving Medical Marijuana. The story makes you believe that it’s the only source of drugs being used and another way to scare people to not approve the sale and use of certain drugs for medical use. How many children asked where their supply of whatever they were taking and was it only marijuana? I don’t use drugs, and I don’t disapprove of someone who has tried every other type of treatment and can only get relief from pain with using alternative treatments. Nath, nothing good comes from misuse of most anything these days. Look what happened when this country adopted proabition. A great boost for crime.
  • by WTF Location: CoSprings on Nov 13, 2010 at 09:48 AM
    I'll tell you what its going to take. Its going to take America finally removing the blinders and see that the drugs are brought here and pushed by the blacks and mexicans. One day everyone will see it and take a stand to take this country back. We will continue to decline to the state of Africa and Mexico until then...
  • by Jayson Location: Colorado Springs, D. #11 on Nov 13, 2010 at 08:24 AM
    What is it going to take before parents take responsibility? How many more deaths will it take? If we keep count from today, this very moment, let's see how many more kids die, kill themselves or others from making bad choices because of a lack of parenting.... Resources and drug screening can help reduce drug use but it comes down to accepting that ALL kids are at risk and parents need to step it up and accept responsiblity.
  • by Rod Dodd Location: Wheatridge on Nov 13, 2010 at 06:21 AM
    Sounds like the warm up to a push for more funding. We need more money and more cops because....
  • by WB Location: COS on Nov 12, 2010 at 06:35 PM
    Ummm...yeah. If it's been legalized, then it isn't criminal.
  • by TheFaqs Location: Around on Nov 12, 2010 at 06:17 PM
    Actually, the offenses are stemming from prescription medications, and even some harder narcotics such as cocaine and heroin. Another issue is meth. Marijuana is lowest on the list of reported incidents.
  • by Nath Location: Colo Spgs on Nov 12, 2010 at 05:40 PM
    Isn't the increased tax revenue from licensing pot shops great? This is one of those "I told you so" moments. Nothing good comes from legalizing criminal behavior.
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