GPD: Substance abuse rising among students
The new generation of students today are engaging in more substance abuse, Guam Police Department spokesman Paul Tapao said.
In an interview with Patti Arroyo on NewsTalk K57, Tapao said substance abuse is rising because more substances that can be abused are available to the current generation of school kids.
These include alcohol, inhalants, spice, and whatever is available and cheap like the butane used in portable stoves.
Tapao said GPD is seeing more of these substances in secondary and high schools.
“And when you couple those with alcohol, you have a potent cocktail,” he said.
Tapao also confirmed that the riot at Tiyan High School on Tuesday was fueled by alcohol abuse.
Based on GPD’s preliminary investigation, Tapao said an individual was initially brought to a teacher and this escalated and became a riot.
Earlier, the Guam Department of Education also stated that alcohol appears to have played a role in the two recent riots at public high schools.
GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez said there will be no tolerance for students found to be in possession of alcohol or intoxicated on school campuses and any students found to be in violation of these rules will be disciplined accordingly.
According to Tapao, GPD continues to provide training for school officials on how to look for signs of substance abuse, illegal substances, and threatening or suspicious activity.
He added that the school safety partnership program task force may be convened again to come up with a wholistic solution to the recent riots in the island’s public school.
The school safety partnership program was created to provide actionable steps to improve safety at the island’s public schools. Lieutenant Governor Josh and GDOE Superintendent Jon Fernandez co-chair this partnership.
However, the program recently took a back seat to the village public safety meetings resulting from the Mangilao machete attack.
But now that the machete attack trial has been completed and attention has shifted to the rioting in schools, the school safety program is expected to be prioritized again.