Recently, we posted about dirty heroin syringes found on the playground at Madison Elementary: https://concernedeastsideneighbors.wordpress.com/2013/12/18/dirty-heroin-syringes-on-madison-elementary-playground/
I sent a letter to the Principal. In facing the reality of my child attending a school in an area heavily impacted by IV drug use, I made a few requests. I asked that Madison develop a site-specific plan to protect students from accidental needle pokes on campus. Additionally, I asked that the school educate students specifically about syringes and what to do if found, as well as build awareness for the drug detritus en route to and from school.
Principal Domenico Spatola-Knoll responded. The school district is now working with Thurston County Health Department (TCHD) and putting together some specific materials which will be provided to our students and families concerning hypodermic syringes. TCHD will be training district staff who might encounter any of drug paraphernalia on school grounds. Staff performed a thorough sweep of the Madison school grounds before school started last Monday. Staff will also conduct regular checks of the grounds for these types of materials.
This plan is reassuring and I’m glad the school district is now aware of this new and familiar playground hazard. We are glad OSD is taking steps to prevent syringe pokes on the playground, but syringes are only the tip of the iceberg. If we work together, we can turn this epidemic around.