Healthy Kids Survey eyes student issues
The number of seventh-grade students in the Sonoma Valley Unified School District who say they tried alcohol or marijuana in the 30 days prior to the Healthy Kids Survey, continues to decline year after year.
But the fact that 9 percent of seventh-graders say they used alcohol and 4 percent say they used marijuana in the 30 days prior to the self-survey last spring is still startling. When asked if they had ever used alcohol or marijuana, 19 percent of seventh-graders said they had tried alcohol at least once and 6 percent said they had used marijuana at least once, but those numbers are down from the 2009 survey.
The numbers jump dramatically for 11th-graders, 70 percent of whom admitted to using alcohol at least once and 48 percent had tried marijuana at least once.
The anonymous biennial survey was given to fifth- seventh- ninth- and 11th-graders in the district.
The school board will receive a report on the survey when it meets tonight, Tuesday, March 12.
The survey questioned students on their use of alcohol and drugs; tobacco; whether or not alcohol, marijuana and tobacco is harmful; safety issues; physical health and positive factors.
One of the ironies in the results is that tobacco use is nearly nonexistent, with only 1 percent of seventh-graders, 6 percent of ninth-graders and 11 percent of 11th-graders saying they smoked tobacco prior to the survey.
But overwhelmingly, despite their use, students thought that alcohol, tobacco and other drugs are harmful – and the older the students, the higher the percentage.
The survey also asked if students had ever carried weapons or belonged to a gang. Two percent of seventh-graders, no ninth-graders and 3 percent of 11th-graders said they carried a gun at least once. As far as gang membership, 5 percent of seventh-graders, 6 percent of ninth-graders and 7 percent of 11th-graders admitted belonging to a gang.
In addition to receiving the survey, the school board will also receive a update on meetings the district has had with neighbors of the solar project. And the board will receive a second interim financial report.
The meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. today, Tuesday, March 12,
in the Community Meeting Room, 177 First St. W.