Sadly, we learned this week that neighboring Issaquah School District is grieving the loss of two high school students due to drug overdoses. Our hearts go out to the families, students and staff who are impacted by these tragic events.
With this message we want all Snoqualmie Valley families to be aware of the dangers facing our precious youth. Media reports are confirming that the deaths were caused by counterfeit pills that look like prescription drugs, which have been laced with fentanyl -- a powerful synthetic opioid 50 times more potent than heroin, according to the King County Sheriff's Office (as reported in the Seattle Times). In addition to these two deaths, officials confirmed six other fentanyl-linked deaths this week alone and 141 since June in King County. Clearly, the national opioid crisis is growing and is now threatening our families and local communities.
With homecoming just around the corner, please take this opportunity to have important conversations with your students on the dangers of taking drugs and the recent reports of deadly substances circulating in our community. Considering these developments, along with national reports of deaths from vaping, there has never been a better time or reason to reach out to your teen on this matter. Please arm them with the facts and your love and support.
As a district, please know that we want to do everything possible to support your families and prevent students from engaging in harmful behaviors. Our district will continue to offer events, information and resources to help raise awareness, and will be working to partner with community organizations, law enforcement and other school districts.
One such opportunity is the upcoming Hidden in Plain Sight event scheduled for October 29 at Mount Si High School, from 7-9 p.m. This presentation -- open to parents and guardians throughout the district -- is designed to help identify the hidden signs of drug use that may be present in a teen's bedroom setting. Health and safety professionals will be on hand, too, to answer questions and help connect families to resources aimed at prevention and treatment.
Also, as you talk with your students, please consider the informative links listed below for updates on the current issues (including a Public Health Fentanyl Warning and photos of what to look for), and other resources to help students in need.
Given our close-knit community, if you have concerns about a student who may be impacted by the recent deaths, please know our schools are available for support. We encourage you to contact your school counselor or administrative team, if you're worried how your student may be coping.
As we work together to make the Snoqualmie Valley School District a safe space to learn and grow, we thank you for your partnership and efforts to keep all students safe and healthy.
As law enforcement is working to keep our community safe, King County is encouraging "Come forward - You will not get in trouble if you have drugs, or have information. You can also report anonymously at: www.reporttosheriff.org as an alternative."
Additional resources to help students:
Call 911 if someone is overdosing. Ambulances are equipped to respond to overdoses.
There is a Good Samaritan law -- which means you will not get in trouble, nor will the person overdosing.
Crisis Connections: 866-427-4747. This line is available 24-hours a day and provides helpful resources and support for people in need.
To report concerns in our SVSD schools, please contact an administrator. Or, report a concern anonymously through the district's Safety Tipline (by text, web, email, phone or mobile app).