Parents want tougher stance on drug use

By Ken Esten Cooke —


About 20 parents attended Monday night’s Fredericksburg Independent School District board of trustees meeting to demand the district take a stronger stance against student drug use both on and off campus.

In the wake of the overdose death of Samuel Herrera, three of the parents spoke and one said the FISD “has turned a blind eye” toward drug use.

“We need a no-tolerance attitude toward drugs for all students,” said Marguerite Westfall. She also cautioned trustees to pay attention to synthetic drugs, which are believed to have been the cause of death for Herrera, and another young adult from the Harper area in an unrelated incident.

“Synthetic drugs are a different animal than marijuana — they are 100 times more potent than normal drugs and cause violent reactions,” Westfall said. “Students caught using them should be asked to leave school.”

While the board did not address the statements at Monday’s meeting, Superintendent Marc Williamson said Tuesday that the district to date has been “proactive” with its drug prevention program, but is always looking for ways it can be more effective.

“We have our policies online, but we do need to do a better job of getting that information out to the people,” he said.

Jeff and Barbara Williams also addressed the board.

Barbara Williams mentioned an anonymously written 2012 letter that was sent to the families of students the author believed was using drugs. The letter included a list of illegal substances that the author wrote were being used by students.

“I’m holding myself accountable, and I’d like to think that kids would come forward,” said Barbara Williams, adding that some parents believed she was the author and threatened her with a lawsuit. “This has been a horrible experience, but we have to take this and turn it into something good.”

Williams said she believed the district had a drug problem because it does not exercise a zero-tolerance policy.

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