Senior Parent Network Meeting Notes from Jan 19anonymous 02/07 1810
Our next Senior Parent network meeting will be Friday March 16 at 8:30am in the staff lounge.
Reminders: Students have no school on Friday, Feb 16 and Monday, Feb 19. There's also a "local holiday" (no school) on Monday March 12.
Here are the notes from our last meeting on January 19
We were joined by two School Resource Officers from the PAPD, detectives Brad Young and Chris Moore. The officers work with the school district and schools mostly assisting with specific incidents where they are called in by a school, but also on prevention and counseling. They emphasized that the school has significant latitude to deal with problems (petty crime, drugs, etc), and that early intervention is far preferable. The officer presence on campus is meant to be friendly and positive, allowing kids the opportunity to interact with them casually and on an informal basis and to ask questions in a familiar environment. When necessary, the officers will document facts and submit a case to the DA's office for determination if further action is necessary. One of their duties is to help with the Living Skills class.
Summary of questions asked by parents:
What do the officers see as the impact of the legalization of marijuana in CA? From a high school perspective, the officers see very little change as one must be 21 years old to legally obtain marijuana. The new law will be regulated similarly to alcohol. The officers do not see much of a problem on campus with marijuana, but students do use off campus. Their biggest concern and change for the worse is related to prescription medication/opiods. To the question of what warning signs a parent might look for, they suggested to be aware of significant behavior changes, e.g. becoming withdrawn, changes from family norms, and to trust your gut feeling; if something is off with your child, dig into that.
What are the biggest changes when turning 18 legally:
- Legal consequences completely change after 18 (juvenile justice system very different).
- At 18, a student can sign a binding contract (without parental supervision or consent).
- Dating: this is particularly an issue if an 18 year old is dating someone younger than 18.
- Consent: One officer recommended the video about consent using tea as a metaphor (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGoWLWS4-kU)
- Police can talk to student directly without a parent present.
- California State Bar resource (very comprehensive): http://www.calbar.ca.gov/Portals/0/documents/publications/Turn-18.pdf
Kids are often afraid they shouldn't call 911 if they aren't sure if the situation is an emergency or think they might get into trouble for doing so. The officer's stressed that when in doubt, always call 911. The emergency call center agents do not expect kids (or anyone) to know for sure. In addition, Palo Alto has a non-emergency number: PA Communications 650-329-2413.
The officers mentioned that parents should be aware of "ghost or vault" apps. Here is more information about them: https://useboomerang.com/2016/09/13/vault-apps-2/
Part 2: Documents you might need once your child turns 18.
There might be times when your child is off at college (or before if they are already 18), when you need to support them with medical or other issues. Once someone is a legal adult, medical professionals will not necessarily speak with their parents without specific permission. The WSJ attachment provides some additional information about this issue. You might also want to look at the California HIPAA Authorization for Release of Protected Health Information. Here is the link: https://goo.gl/DFgQxf
Catherine, Annie and Nancy.