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Letter: Where were the families?

My name is Jeff Hansen and I am the parent coordinator for Greenfield’s Safe Schools Safe Streets Coalition. We’re charged with reducing substance abuse and increasing school connectedness among all students in Greenfield. It’s challenging and very rewarding at the same time.

I recently had the privilege of attending the open house at the High School. It was an opportunity for seventh-grade students from the Math and Science Academy and the Middle School to explore the place where their next four years of learning will take place. For me, it was an opportunity to meet new parents and welcome their children and also to explain my role in promoting a safe, healthy and fun setting. I was extremely excited to meet with more parents.

I arrived 30 minutes early to set up a table with information about our coalition and statistics detailing substance abuse amongst local students. I was proud to introduce our new program, the Safe Homes Network for which families may sign up to be part of a database of concerned parents who pledge to monitor gatherings of their kids and friends and also to be willing to accept calls from other concerned parents. Its a way to keep our kids safe and strengthen community.

By the time the open house was underway, I had seen perhaps only a half-dozen youngsters with parents enter the auditorium. That is a miniscule proportion of the incoming class. Where were the other families? We are all busy, so work obligations may have limited some. Was apathy also a part of the paltry attendance? I don’t know.

I do know that I want to meet more concerned parents. Greenfield has an issue with substance abuse and we are all in this together.

If you want to be part of the solution, please contact me at jefhan1@gpsk12.org. Have a great summer!



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