Stories – Testimonials

Below are some testimonials and stories from parents and kids about issues they have faced and information they wish would have been available to them.

Drugs and Alcohol

“I thought I had all my bases covered.  I educated and warned my son of the dangers and risks of drinking and doing drugs.  The thought of prescription drugs didn’t even cross my mind.  I had a medicine cabinet full of pain killers and everything.  I never thought that something prescribed by my doctor would be something to worry about…When the phone call came that he had overdosed on pills, my brain couldn’t even wrap around it.  How does this kind of stuff happen and a parent doesn’t even know?”
– Mother from Southeast Ohio 

“I had been struggling with some personal issues and didn’t feel comfortable talking to my parents. Shortly after my 13th birthday, an older kid in the neighborhood who knew I was struggling with some problems offered me some weed. He thought it would help. So did I. It really seemed as though getting high was helping me forget my problems. Although, without even noticing, soon, I needed more drugs to get high. That’s when I began huffing – you know, inhaling various household products to get high. I inhaled almost anything I could get my hands on – computer cleaner, air freshener, various spray bottles, etc – so that I could get high.”              
– Female Junior High Student, 14

“A lot of my close “friends” were smoking cigarettes and weed daily, and partying all the time.  At first, I didn’t want to do it, but I ended up giving in just to make them stop asking me , I didn’t think it would be a problem.  However, it ended up being the complete opposite and smoking pot became almost a daily thing for me. My parents never really made it clear to me that is was bad or something I shouldn’t do, but now looking back, I wish they would have.”                       
– Male High School Student, 17

Social Media

“A lot of kids use school facilities to access their fake FB, Instagram, or Twitter accounts, I have two – one that my mom knows about and the other that she doesn’t.  I tell everyone my new name and get a bunch of friends right away.  My mom is on Facebook and she’d see if my name was up. I don’t do it on our computer at home, only at school and on my iPhone. It’s not as good on the iPhone for seeing pictures, but you can use it late at night in bed. You can’t not be on it, or you just don’t have friends.”
 – Female Junior High Student, 14

“I used to love using SnapChat on my phone.  I would take funny or sometimes inappropriate pictures and then send them to my friends and we would laugh about it.  We didn’t think we had anything to worry about because the pictures would just disappear in seconds.  But I learned my lesson, when I sent some personal pictures to my boyfriend.  After we broke up, he was able to get them back somehow and sent them out to a bunch of his friends.  I was so embarrassed.  And my parents had no idea what was going on, they had never even heard of SnapChat before.”
– Female High School Student, 18

Bullying

“Sometimes when I get mad at my friends, I’ll defriend them on FB or unfollow them on Twitter, and then post or tweet about what they did to me.  We end up making up but sometimes I just can’t stand them and have to get it out!”
– Female High School Student, 16

“It happens every day.  Whether it’s a female student wearing dirty clothes, or another student whose voice is higher than most, kids can be mean.  Bullying happens in all forms, especially now with such easy access to social media.  So often it’s written off as “kids just being kids” or “not MY kid”, but its happening.  The expectation for us as teachers is to fix everything, when it takes effort from everyone in the child’s community and environment to make a difference.  So much goes unnoticed.  We need to all be aware and on the same page when it comes to kids and their well-being.”
– Junior High Guidance Counselor