The deaths of the two teens shows no community is immune to drug problems, not large, and not small. Lindale is not an exception.
Lindale ISD Athletic Director Ben Shipley: "I would say we have a problem if we have one student using drugs. Is it a major problem with the majority of students? It's obviously not."
Shipley and the interim superintendent Dr. Jane Ann Morrison say they have the same concerns as parents. And they will continue to be proactive.
Morrison: "We were very early involved in testing of students in extracurricular activities, which is one thing the law allows us to do."
Shipley says from 50 to 75 randon students are tested twice a month, and sometimes three times.
"We're drug testing kids to give them a reason not to use drugs," he says.
Seventy percent of kids in Lindale schools are involved in those activities and have that testing. Last year, just two students failed their tests. Testing every student is not yet allowed by the state.
In the meantime, Morrison says a committee of the community will be formed to look at what can be done to combat drugs.
But what about each parent's part?
Dee Lewis says parents have to listen to their kids.
"[Kids] find it very difficult to talk about things on their minds."
Lewis has been there. He began using drugs decades ago as a Lindale student. Now clean for the first time in 25 years, he says the schools can't do it all.
"The city must take action, the schools [must] take action, and family [must] take action. A lot of this starts at home, and then it's brought to school and a lot of people are exposed to it that way."
All agree there are plenty of people who can step in. And watching for that right time to intervene has renewed focus.
The Lindale school board will get public input on drug issues at the September 13th school board meeting. Dee Lewis says he and other folks would be willing to serve on any committee that might succeed in preventing teen drug use.
Reported by Morgan Palmer.
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