Mailbag: Think outside the box to fight drug use

Regarding Dorothy Beck’s April 15 letter titled “Suspensions not proper punishment,” she asks if the school administration, parents or police can’t responsibly handle the alarming alcohol/drug problems in schools, who else can? The answer is — the students.

Well-meaning coalitions formed to fight increasing substance abuse in our schools and communities have come and gone over the past 20 years, and the problem keeps getting worse.

The question that needs to be asked is, “Why?” Why are our kids wanting to use more alcohol and drugs with each new generation?

More drug-sniffing dogs, police presence, addiction specialists and absurd voluntary drug testing are like the tail trying to wag the dog. Historically, the war on drugs has focused on controlling the supply or increasing punishments. It has not worked, and it never will by itself.

Schools need to break out of the limitations of traditional thinking, look at new effective models of behavioral education and integrate these smarter concepts into curricula.

They need to recognize that the enormous imbalance in the educational systems that focus on left-brain, half-brain learning are in fact contributing to the increase in students’ substance abuse along with an out-of-balance society.

Every year the faces in my driving under the influence programs get younger and younger.

And every year I see thousands of people change their lives by balancing their brains.

If you want some new thinking about drinking and drug use in our schools and our society, you will find it at www.righton programs.org. Students will change the demand for alcohol and drugs only when they learn and experience a better way to reduce stress, have fun and feel good.

JOHN MARSHALL

Glendale

Bunny suits don’t belong in stings

I fully support the comments of Councilman John Drayman and reject the attempt to reframe this criticism as being anti-police (“Thankful for police ‘bunny sting,’” April 20).

The facts are that Glendale has been doing these costumed stings for awhile. During that time, the rate of pedestrian accidents has generally gone up, so much so that Glendale has been named the third-riskiest city in the United States in which to drive.

So I ask you, is the bunny sting re-educating the drivers who are at fault? Obviously not.

What these costumed stings do is create a setting on the street that is not the norm.

The excuse given that if a driver can’t see a 7-foot-tall bunny, how will he see a normal pedestrian, is just rationalization for bad policy that now, thankfully, appears to have been ended by the chief of police (“Stings go on, sans bunny,” April 2).

For at least many of those stopped, I’m sure, the problem is not that the drivers didn’t see the bunny, it’s that they did and were confused by what would not normally be on the road, i.e., a bunny cartoon character. To me, this would look very much like an Easter promotion for a business.

The fact is also that, according to the Glendale News-Press, the day after the article ran, the police resumed these stings as they should be conducted, namely in plain clothes to simulate normal road conditions.

Sounds like the police chief agrees with the councilman.

MARK LASSITER

Glendale

Protect climate change legislation

We’ve all heard the warnings: Global warming is a catastrophic threat to our environment, our health and our economy.

But far fewer people want to believe that it will impact their own lives, including our fellow California residents. And some are actively seeking to repeal California’s landmark climate change bill.

Don’t listen to the spin about loss of jobs. Climate change legislation will reinvigorate our economy, create jobs and reduce climate change-causing pollution.

Scientific studies show that global warming is already causing environmental changes that will have significant economic and social impacts.

We can reduce global warming pollution using existing technologies to make power plants and factories more efficient, make cars go farther on a gallon of gasoline and shift to cleaner technologies.

This Earth Day, join League of Women Voters members as we all stand firm to protect climate change legislation.

CHRIS CARSON AND JOAN HARDIE

Glendale

Editor’s note: Carson and Hardie are co-presidents of the League of Women Voters Glendale/Burbank.


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