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Improving High School Alcohol, Drug Rates

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BERKELEY, Calif. (KCBS) A new report claims that lunchtime supervision of Berkeley High School students and a better truancy policy would help improve alcohol and drug abuse rates.

The report was the result of a 2008 California Healthy Kids Survey that showed Berkeley 9th and 11th graders reported they were drunk or stoned at school at twice the state and national rates.

“It’s really up to the schools. They’re not babysitters either. But it’s up to the schools. They give kids too much freedom,” said one student.

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The recently retired school district director of student services said closing the campus is one idea.

Civic Center Park is right across the street from Berkeley High. And as for stricter supervision of the park?

“Cops are going to harass everybody to the point that people are going to get tired of it,” said a Berkeley High student.

Many of the teens said they believe the availability of drugs and alcohol is a key factor.

“Lately, I haven’t been to a liquor store where you could go in there and ask for some alcohol and they say, let me see your ID,” said a female student. “They don’t do that anymore. People are trying to make money now.”

The report recommends the implementation of middle school prevention and intervention and training security guards and teachers to identify use and abuse.

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