Santa Clarita to host parent symposium Friday for a discussion on fentanyl and more
In an effort to prevent fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths, William S. Hart Union High School District officials are preparing to show a 21-minute video about the dangers of fentanyl to students districtwide Thursday.
District officials released an email to parents Monday night informing them of their decision to show students a video, which would explain what fentanyl is and the dangers it can pose to them. According to local law enforcement, fentanyl-related overdoses and deaths increased throughout the county — with 23 fentanyl-related deaths in the Santa Clarita Valley just this year alone.
“As most of you have read or heard on the news, fentanyl is a synthetic opioid that is 50 times stronger than morphine and is now causing more deaths in Santa Clarita than almost anywhere else in Los Angeles County,” the Hart district email reads.
“We are highly concerned about our young people as many drugs including marijuana may contain deadly levels of fentanyl, which cannot be seen, tasted, or smelled.”
Dominic Tierno and Christine Wood produced the video, “Dead on Arrival,” which discusses fentanyl from the perspectives of parents who lost their children from fentanyl-poisoning.
According to the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, fentanyl is a “high potency” synthetic opioid that is colorless and odorless and can cause rapid respiratory depression resulting in accidental death.
“It is critically important that we all work together to support our students by sharing this information and becoming aware of the dangers of taking any substance without knowledge of its contents,” the Hart district email reads.
In addition, Superintendent Mike Kulhman said the district is in discussion with the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Foundation to possibly gear student-produced public service announcement in the spring to address fentanyl.
According to Kulhman, the goal would be to continue informing about the dangers of fentanyl, and to not let the message get lost in the future.
Kulhman said the Hart district and the Sheriff’s Foundation have a partnership. Students in the video production classes work to create PSAs in the spring then the Sheriff’s Foundation screens them and awards $500 to the winner’s video production class.
The foundation and district create a list of topics that both affect the schools and community at large. In the past, students produced PSAs on suicide awareness, gun violence and more.
Hart district officials also encouraged parents to attend the city of Santa Clarita’s parent symposium, “Chasing the High,” on Friday. The symposium will be held at City Hall at 6 p.m., and there will be a resource fair 30 minutes before.