Impact of Community of Concern at Blake


TScreen Shot 2014-09-29 at 12.31.21 PMhe Community of Concern was created eight years ago by parents of children enrolled in independent schools. It served as a way for guardians to get information regarding questions to ask their middle and high school students about alcohol and drug abuse. As the Community of Concern grew among schools and spread its ideas, it became a partnership of parents, students, schools, and other organizations. Today, they work together through education and cooperation to stay alcohol and drug free.

When teens are told, “Drugs are bad, don’t do them” it doesn’t give us any information, if anything it makes us more curious. Students and teens need to be educated on how to be safe and smart throughout high school. The Community of Concern has recognized this and has taken action by encouraging dialogue between teens and parents to address this topic and establish rules and expectations parents set for their students.

The Community of Concern believes that talking about substance abuse can prevent or delay the decision to start using. The Community of Concern stresses that parent involvement is key for abstinence. Clearly, parents have an impact in any child’s life and even more so in the subject of chemical abuse.

But, students may wonder what is considered an offense and what are the consequences? Stated in the Blake Handbook, any substance use on campus or school related (dances, retreats, sporting events, etc.) results in a three day suspension, a loss of leadership for one year (issued by the Minnesota High School League), a required chemical health assessment, and colleges will be informed with this information. If a chemical violation occurs off campus and Blake finds out that it happened, the student is required to have a conversation with his/her parents and the school counselor, and a chemical health assessment is recommended. These are the types of violations and events that the Community of Concern tries to prevent, which is why Blake is one of the schools part in the organization.

Be aware of the Community of Concern, but don’t be afraid of it. The goal of this organization is to understand the situations many students and teens face and to address them with ease and information. Head of Blake School Anne Staveny says,  “I strongly support this ongoing conversation and communication between parents and the school. We share the same goal of educating students to make good choices for themselves and for others.” We need to make good choices for ourselves and with others in mind; the Community of Concern at Blake serves as a mentor to lead us through our high school journey, making sure we don’t trip.