Central County : Parents to Receive Warnings on Students' Use of Drugs

Parents in the Huntington Beach Union High School District will begin receiving letters from the district superintendent, warning them that their children may be expelled if found to be using drugs.

The two-page letter represents the district's "get-tough" approach to drug abuse, said Lyn Henderson, an administrative assistant to Supt. Marie Otto.

"We're warning them of what the consequences might be if their children are caught," Henderson said. "And it's to let the students know that drug abuse is self-destructive."

Last year, the district expelled from Huntington Beach High School eight students who allegedly used cocaine in two limousines while riding to the junior-senior prom. Henderson said that incident was not a catalyst to the letter, but "it opened our eyes to the problem."

In addition to warning that students may be expelled or suspended, the letter offers parents several tips on how to maintain communication with their kids.

"It suggests that they be interested in their children's activities, and that parents trust them," Henderson said. "It says to let kids make their own decisions. Don't alienate them by being judgmental."

The letter will be mailed to the 17,000 families in the district over the next six weeks, Henderson said.

The district has seven high schools: Huntington Beach, Edison, Marina, Ocean View, Westminster, Fountain Valley, and Wintersburg, a continuation high school.

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