Cows, Colleges, Contentment… and Consternation

I’ve been pondering for weeks about our fair city, and have decided that our new city motto must be “Cows, Colleges, Contentment… and Consternation.” But that same consternation does not apply to the Northfield Schools, where I think things are humming along quite smoothly. No, we don’t have 250 high school kids on heroin.

Consternation about city government, frankly, and maybe about the news media. Who was doing what to whom is far from clear, but we have a police chief on medical leave, a city administrator who is being investigated, and a town newspaper that is less than helpful in presenting the information.

I’ve decided that all the stuff happening at the city just has to be ignored in the short term. It will work itself out, somebody or somebodies will resign or get indicted, and eventually we will elect a council that takes some action to do something to someone.

In the meantime, let’s also say that Northfield Schools is pretty much doing what it needs to do:

  1. We’re all in agreement that if there is even ONE school kid taking heroin it is too many. While there are certainly not 250, as the first reports appeared to indicate, there are a handful of high school students who need further support.
  2. We are in agreement that we will use drug-sniffing dogs in ways that are appropriate. Dogs can be used to scope out potential problems with certain kids. They will not be used to intimidate or as a scare tactic. But use them we will sometime. As I write this post I am aware that baseline data has been collected about the high school, collected using drug sniffing dogs used last evening.
  3. We are in agreement that our drug awareness curriculum needs to be reviewed and updated. If kids say it doesn’t do the job, we need to listen.
  4. We are in agreement that all school property should be managed in such a way as to discourage drug activities. Wetlands, marshes, and parks must be watched over, burned over when necessary, and neighborhood watches established.
  5. We agree that we can never sit back and assume we are “above average” in this area of drug use. Parents need to be vigilant, neighborhoods must cooperate, and schools must establish an environment where every kid is known and cared for.

That is my commitment as a leader in this district. I am sure it is also yours.