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The Suburbanite
  • Program brings awareness to risky teen behaviors

  • Spring Hill Junior High will host a program designed by Copley and Bath township police departments to warn parents of dangers “Hidden in Plain Sight” in their teens’ bedrooms.

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  • Spring Hill Junior High will host a program designed by Copley and Bath township police departments to warn parents of dangers “Hidden in Plain Sight” in their teens’ bedrooms.
    The program is designed to show parents that clues to behavior such as drug use, eating disorders or sexual activity can often be found with items right in their teen’s room.
    Springfield Schools, the Springfield Police Department, Springfield Chamber of Commerce and the Volunteer Auxiliary Springfield Police will host the program at Spring Hill on Feb. 27.
    “Our intentions, as a school district, are not to only educate the students, but the community as well,” said Mary Meadows, Spring Hill principal. “We want to present this program to help parents and community members become aware of possible warning signs of risky or even illegal activities that some teenagers may participate in.”
    In the mock bedroom the police departments show, there are nearly 150 items that could indicate high-risk behavior including substance abuse, underage drinking, eating disorders, sexual activity and more. During the presentation, subjects such as self-mutilation, inhalant abuse and other dangerous activities will be addressed. Those attending are encouraged to explore and interact with the room. Hidden items in the bedroom of a teenager could give parents an indication their child may be involved in a risky activity.
    “I have worked with juvenile law offenders and their families for nearly 30 years,” said Marcie Mason, a youth worker with the Bath and Copley Police Departments’ Juvenile Offender Diversion Program. “I am surprised by how often parents had no clue as to the kinds of behavior their child was involved in.”
    She said that, after attending the exhibit, parents will be more aware of potentially harmful activities in which their children could be participating.
    “Hopefully this awareness will prevent their child from being harmfully involved with substance abuse, getting into serious trouble or being injured,” Mason said.
    In November 2012, Green City Council member Ken Knodel organized an evening for Green residents to attend the program.
    “The people who have seen the presentation felt it was very beneficial,” he said.
    Knodel said the more people involved in keeping students out of trouble, the better.
    “I don’t think there is any school district that is immune to this. It is prevalent all over,” he said. “There are a lot of people that have no idea it could be happening in their backyard. In talking with police officers, this program has already made an impact.”
    The traveling exhibit will be at the junior high on Feb. 27 at 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30. The event is for adults only, and anyone dealing with school-age children is encouraged to attend. It is a free program.
    “We hope that by bringing in Hidden In Plain Sight, our community may gain an awareness to help students who may be struggling for one reason or another,” Meadows said. “After all, these children are our future.”
    Page 2 of 2 - Call the Copley Police Department at 330-666-4218 for more information.