CASA 1997 Back to School Survey:|
MORE KIDS HAVE SEEN DRUG DEALS AT THEIR SCHOOLS THAN IN THEIR NEIGHBORHOODS
29% of High Schoolers Say a Student in Their School Died from Alcohol or Drug-Related Incident in Past Year
76% of High School Students and 46% Of Middle School Students say Drugs are Kept, Used or Sold on Their School Grounds
September 8, 1997 - A 1997 survey of middle and high school students, parents, teachers and principals, conducted for The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University (CASA) by the Luntz Research Companies and QEV Analytics, released in Washington, DC today by Joseph A.Califano, Jr., former HEW Secretary and President of CASA and Dr. Frank Luntz, reveals that more middle and high school students have seen drug deals on school grounds than in their neighborhoods.
"It's back to school time in America," said Califano. "While our schools used to be sanctuaries for students, many have become candy stores of dangerous substances-cigarettes, alcohol, inhalants, marijuana, heroin, cocaine and acid-sold or used by classmates on the school grounds."
The survey reveals that deaths from substance abuse-related incidents, kids coming to school drunk or high, smoking, drinking and drug sales on school grounds, students expelled or suspended for possessing, using or selling drugs, parties where marijuana is available, are commonplace in the lives of our middle and high schoolers:
76% of high school students and 46% of middle school students say drugs are kept, used or sold on school grounds.
29% of high school students and 12% of middle school students say a student in their school died in the past year from an incident related to alcohol or drugs.
28% of high school and 19% of middle school teachers say students who appear drunk or high show up in their classes monthly or more frequently.
74% of high school and 52% of middle school students say a student has been expelled or suspended for possessing, using or selling drugs in the past year.
56% of high school and 24% of middle school students have attended a party in the past six months where marijuana was available.
Back to School 1997 - The CASA National Survey of American Attitudes on Substance Abuse III: Teens and Their Parents, Teachers and Principals is the first national survey conducted of teachers, principals and teens and parents (most from the same households) on substance abuse in the nation's schools. The survey was conducted between June 7 and July 7 of 1,115 teens (ages 12 to 17), 998 parents (648 teens and parents from the same households), 789 middle (grades 6th through 8th) and high school teachers (grades 9th through 12th) and 401 middle and high school principals.1 Funding for the survey was provided by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
Smoking, Drinking Signal Drug-Plagued Schools
CASA's analysis of the survey findings underscore the importance of keeping our schools free of smoking, drinking and drugs:
83% of schools where students smoke and drink on school grounds are not drug-free.
Schools where students smoke and drink are 3 times likelier to be drug-plagued than schools where students don't smoke or drink. (Only 30% of students who say their schools are alcohol- and smoke-free report drug-related activity at their schools.)
Students who attend schools with drugs are nearly 4 times likelier to try marijuana than are those in drug-free schools
Students who attend schools that are not drug-free are also more likely to attend parties with pot; 51% of teens at such schools have been to at least one such party in the past six months, compared with 23% of teens at drug-free schools.
Students' Perceptions of Drugs in Schools
Differ Dramatically from Those of Teachers and Principals
Teens say drugs are commonplace at their schools but teachers and principals often appear oblivious to this situation:
Only 8% of middle school and 12% of high school teachers and 14% of principals report seeing drugs sold in school or on school grounds compared with 18% of middle school students and 41% of high school students. (12% of middle school students and 25% of high school students have seen drug deals in their neighborhoods).
While only 30% of teens say students do not smoke at their school, 60% of principals and 50% of teachers say that students do not smoke at their school.
High school students say that 50% of their peers are using drugs at least monthly, while principals estimate that only 10% of students are using drugs at least monthly and high school teachers estimate that 24% of their students are using drugs monthly or more frequently.
41% of middle school teachers and 51% of high school teachers and principals think a student can use marijuana every weekend and still do well in school; only 24% of teens agree.
35% of teens cite drugs as the most important problem they face (slightly up from 32% in 1995 and 31% in 1996). 26% of parents, 18% of teachers and 15% of principals cite drugs as teen's most important concern.
Most Students, Teachers, Principals and Parents Take Tough Stand
Teachers, principals, parents and students all agree that tough remedies should be taken to help rid our schools of drugs, including random locker searches, zero tolerance policies, and drug testing of teachers and students. Half of students (52%) and principals (53%) support drug testing of all students, compared with 42% of parents and 38% of teachers. A large majority of teachers (61%) and principals (68%) support the drug testing of teachers. Seventy-three (73%) percent of teens, 79% of parents, 64% of teachers and 73% of principals support drug testing of student athletes.
"The good news is that our middle and high school children are crying out for help and teachers care," said Califano. "Teachers say they have a sense of obligation to instill values in students and feel responsible for counseling students about the dangers of drugs. While teachers feel they are adequately trained to spot substance abuse, unfortunately most say they have not been adequately trained in how to teach about the dangers of substance abuse or what to do about it.
"The importance of drug-free schools can hardly be overstated. "Teens, parents, teachers and principals can and must make a commitment to purge our schools of drugs," he said.
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University is the only national organization that brings together under one roof all the professional disciplines needed to study and combat all types of substance abuse as they affect all aspects of society. CASA's missions are to: inform Americans of the economic and social costs of substance abuse and its impact on their lives; assess what works in prevention, treatment and law enforcement; encourage every individual and institution to take responsibility to combat substance abuse and addiction; provide those on the front lines with tools they need to succeed, and remove the stigma of substance abuse and replace shame and despair with hope.
Whether in middle or high school, the lives of teenagers are filled with alcohol and drugs:
24% of 13 year-olds and 60% of 17 year-olds have attended a party in the last six months where marijuana was available.
34% of 13 year-olds and 75% of 17 year-olds have friends who are regular drinkers.
19% of 13 year-olds and 51% of 17 year-olds have seen drug sales on school grounds.
8% of 13 year-olds and 27% of 17 year-olds have classmates who died because of drugs or alcohol.
40% of 13 year-olds and 72% of 17 year-olds know a friend or classmate who has used acid, cocaine or heroin
20% of 13 year-olds and 60% of 17 year-olds attend schools where students drink on school grounds.
53% of 13 year-olds and 24% of 17 year-olds are willing to report a drug user in their school to school officials.
11% of middle school and 25% of high school students have been at a party where parents purchased or served alcohol to underage teenagers in the past two years.
1.The margin of sampling error for teens is +/-2.9%, for parents +/-3.1%. A random survey of 789 teachers has a margin of error of +/-3.5%, and a random survey of 401 principals, +/-4.9%. Since the surveys of teachers and principals utilized listed samples, a calculation of margin of error cannot be made because this presumes a random probability sample design. However the CASA surveys of teachers and principals were weighted to match characteristics of the 1993-94 Schools and Staffing Survey (SASS), conducted by the US Department of Education.