Missoula Superintendent Explains Meth Impact on Local Schools
On Wednesday, July 18, the state crime lab released info showing a disturbing climb in the presence of methamphetamine in Montana. In 2017, meth turned up in crime lab testing far more frequently than in 2011, a growth rate over 300 percent. Despite the rise of meth throughout Montana, MCPS superintendent Mark Thane says there is some good news when it comes to meth in Missoula schools.
"We're not so naive as to believe that you couldn't find somebody who could supply you [drugs] at any of the high schools... the high schools tend to be a microcosm of the community," Thane said. "That being said, we did not have a single incident last year where a student was found to be in possession of meth in school building."
Though meth in schools hasn’t been detected, Thane says the schools still have to deal with the fallout from meth’s presence in the community.
"I attended a workshop that talked about meth in particular and one of the communities that surrounds Missoula had an experience a couple of years ago where more than fifty percent of the babies that were born at that facility, were born to parents that had a substance abuse issue," Thane said. "We see those students then transfer into schools and that is significant trauma."
When it comes to substance abuse in Missoula area schools Thane says the most commonly encountered substances teachers have to deal with are marijuana and alcohol.