Board huddles as parents wait to address problems

The executive session lasted about three hours.
GIRARD -- About two dozen parents attended Wednesday's Girard Board of Education meeting, but not much was said about student drinking problems, recent drug arrests or bullets found on school grounds.
The board went into an executive session about a half-hour after the meeting started and had not come out three hours later. An agenda said the executive session was for "the investigation of charges or complaints against a student[s]."
The board had set aside time on the agenda for citizens to address it after the executive session. As the executive session went longer, however, people in attendance began to dwindle.
Superintendent Joseph Jeswald briefly addressed the drug and alcohol issues being discussed throughout the community. He directed parents to a compiled list of support groups, curriculum and activities designed to help students with various issues and concerns.
"I want to assure you that the school district is continuing its efforts to address these issues," he said.
Jeswald said the majority of kids in the district do not have any problems with drugs or alcohol. The district, he said, is aggressively working to address any issues some students may have.
Mike Kolic, a drug recovery specialist who works with kids around the country, had planned to address the board. But he has been told by Jeswald his services are not needed.
Kolic said he is still working with three students at the request of their parents. One of those parents attended the meeting in support of Kolic.
Wendi Parker said her 16-year-old daughter benefited from his assistance. She said she liked the fact that Kolic, who once had a drug problem, comes from the perspective of someone who has "been there," and did not judge her daughter.
A week ago, Girard police announced the arrests of 10 young people, including six Girard High School students, on charges of selling marijuana.
A Girard High School student also passed out at a New Year's Eve party held at the home of a school board member after consuming alcohol. The school does have a policy on alcohol and drug use that prohibits students involved in such activity from attending or participating in extracurricular events.

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