Discussion will outline youth drug problem for adults


March 09, 2001|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

"OUT OF SIGHT, out of mind." All too often that is how parents feel about the increasing drug problem among young people in Carroll County.

Mike College, a retired Maryland State Police narcotics officer, said society often forgets about heroin use until it becomes front-page news.

"Heroin has been here before, and it's still here," he said.

College said statistics can't be ignored. Heroin overdose deaths in Carroll County rose from two in 1999 to eight last year. Perhaps more frightening for parents, nine of 10 youths treated at the Carroll County Drug Treatment facility were approached with drugs by friends.

In an effort to teach parents about drug use among youth, Mount Airy Middle School PTSO will be host to a Drug Awareness Discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday.

College will lead the discussion, which will begin with an overview of drug use among teens and cover signs of drug use, why teens experiment with drugs, and information about ecstasy and marijuana. Parents who have lost children to heroin and representatives of RAD - Residents Attacking Drugs - will answer questions.

The discussion is designed for adults. Free baby-sitting will be available.

Also in attendance will be Maryland State Police Lt. Terry Katz, Westminster barracks commander, to accept a check for the family of slain Maryland State Police Cpl. Edward M. Toatley. Toatley was killed during an undercover narcotics operation in October.

The $130.49 check, from Scott Schulman, a Mount Airy resident, will be presented by Lauren College, a seventh-grader at Mount Airy Middle School. The check matches the amount Lauren and her friends raised late last year for the Toatley family.

Lauren's father was a colleague of Toatley's for 15 years. Both worked as narcotics officers and on several occasions worked together on narcotics assignments in Baltimore and the Westminster area.

After Toatley's death, Lauren searched for a way to help his family. With several friends, she collected change during lunch period at the middle school for a week, raising $130.49 and presenting the money to the family.

When Schulman read about Lauren's fund-raising effort, he said he thought it was "terrific that a young girl her age was able to recognize someone else's suffering and to do something about it."

Schulman, who has a daughter the same age, knows how difficult it is to motivate kids, let alone have them form a plan and carry it out. Sensing Lauren was disappointed she didn't raise more, Schulman offered to match her gift.

In a letter Schulman sent with his check to Lauren, he wrote, "The count at the end of the day isn't the true measure of your success, but rather the heart and soul of the people you have touched that really matters."

Information: 301-829-1314.

Triumphant dinner

Those who attended South Carroll High School's first Renaissance Dinner declared it a success.

Styled as a dinner theater, it was presented by the school's Chorus Boosters under the direction of chorus teacher Judith Parks.

Chorus students, dressed in period costumes, sang a cappella and entertained diners with a Punch and Judy show. The jester, Mitch Hawkins, performed tricks, and the herald trumpeters, Matt Mattera and Justin Gilman, announced each dinner course.

A Beggars Chorus, recorder and drum ensemble and traveling entertainers performed during the dinner of roasted pork, chicken with rice and flaming bananas Foster dessert.

The Royal Court included Sean Hapkins as king and Jocelyn Petit de Mange as queen.

Princesses were Jennifer Kelm, Megan Gorsuch, Katrina Turner, Michelle Lambert, Rachel King, Mallory Sutphin, Sarah Weddle, Brittney Carow, Janna Ridenour, Kelly DaCosta and Julie Hevey.

Dan Haight, Mike Hamilton, Eric Baughan, Andrew Morse, Dustin Walter, Steve Schreiber, Tony Cimino and Jerrod Cannistrace were princes. The dinner netted $1,888, which will be used for Chorus Booster projects.

PTA meeting

The Baldridge System of teaching will be the focus of the PTA meeting Wednesday at Winfield Elementary School. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the school, 4401 Salem Bottom Road.

The Baldridge System, being tested in several Carroll County schools, makes pupils responsible for learning, setting goals and understanding educational needs using quality tools and data. Tools might include input in classroom rules, models of quality work and expectations of teachers and administrators.

Guest speakers will include Carrolltowne Elementary School Principal Martin Tierney and Mechanicsville Elementary Principal Anna Verican.

The meeting will provide parents the opportunity to ask questions of the teachers and parents who have experienced the system.

Information: 410-751-3242.

Christy Kruhm's Southwest Neighbors column appears each Friday in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

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