Bethlehem schools host drugs forum for parents, students

BETHLEHEM, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Bethlehem High School has reached out to parents and students to talk about the dangers of heroin and other drugs.

When senior Maya Paolasso-Martinez was a freshman in high school, she heard too many stories about drug addiction consuming her peers.

“I find it devastating to think that these young people are throwing away their lives by turning to substance abuse,” she said.

She noticed something was missing in school – real stories about the consequences of picking up a needle. So for the last four years, she’s been providing those stories on her television program, Youth United.

“I want to be a little bit of a change to provide a resource for young people who may not know where to seek help or to seek knowledge,” Paolasso-Martinez said.

That’s why Bethlehem schools held a forum to open a conversation about drug abuse.

During the forum, kids were given goggles that would show them what their vision would look like with a BAC of .2 percent. Then, they would tell the kids to take off the goggles so they could compare their vision.

Parents also shared their advice.

“For me, it was just saying o them I will come get you wherever you are,” parent Jayne Deane-White said.

“As they get older we want to keep the lines of communication open,” parent John Rabenstein said.

Parents also wanted their children to know it’s okay to say no to drugs.

“If I do try one of these drugs, I might not be able to get off it, so politely say no, and try to get out of the situation,” seventh grader Aiden Fournier said.

Paolasso-Martinez said events like the forum will keep kids, kids.

“The only way to solve your problems is to get help,” she said. “And sometimes you have to be strong and face that and look for help in the right places.”

This is the third year Bethlehem Opportunities Unlimited hosted the forum for families.


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