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6 out of 10 New Hanover County high school students try drugs

WILMINGTON -- Earlier this week we told you about a survey that reveals an increase in risk behavior among students in New Hanover County schools. It found some students are experimenting with sex, drinking and drugs -- and doing it at a younger age. A spokesperson for New Hanover County schools says schools are committed to warning students about the dangers of sex and drugs, but educators say there's only so much they can do. A recent survey shows that more than half -- six out of ten students -- smoke marijuana by senior year at New Hanover County schools. New Hanover High Principal Chris Furr says he's not surprised. Furr said, "It disturbs me more than shocks me. It doesn't surprise me necessarily because I see the signs of it day in and day out." A spokesperson for New Hanover says the school system is committed to educating kids about sex and drugs. Programs begin as early as fifth grade. But some educators say school programs aren't nearly enough to solve the problem. New Hanover County Safe and Drug-Free Schools coordinator Beau McCafray said, "I see one of the major issues being a lack of positive, appropriate adult role models." McCafray has been overseeing drug prevention programs in county schools for nearly seventeen years. He says parents need to communicate effectively with their kids and help them make the right decisions. "You know, you want to prevent problem behavior, it's a lot more than telling somebody this is what a drug will do to you and don't do it," McCafray said. "There's got to be a level of trust there that it's like ok this may not be what you want to hear but you need to hear it." McCafray says parents also need to make sure their kids participate in other constructive activities, like sports, music, any extra circular activity that keeps them off the street. That way, they're less likely to get in trouble. "After school, that is a very vulnerable time and children need fun, healthy activities that are supervised by positive adult role models," McCafray said. School officials say the survey's results, which also indicate an increase in sexual activity, prompted them to approve a new sex education curriculum that encourages abstinence only. It will go into affect in August 2008.

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Wait a minute -- All of you

Wait a minute -- All of you who made comments on this article really need to re-read the article. Nothing was stated about New Hanover High School. It was about NEW HANOVER COUNTY SCHOOLS in general. There was a statement from the New Hanover High School Principal. THAT'S ALL! Why don't you really READ the article first then make your comments. That is what is wrong with this town -- you read what you WANT the article to say not what the article REALLY SAYS!

Schools fault????

We are talking about school age kids, but that doesn't mean its a school problem. For the most part, these students aren't using drugs at school, they are using them at home, friends homes, or where ever they are hanging out with friends. To fix this problem we need to start at home, and what makes this so hard is that a lot of parents out there don't care what their kids are doing as long as they aren't bothering the parent.


Well for one it is not only in the high schools it is also in the middle schools.I think if the teachers and the administration would open thier eyes and admit that it is a problem then mabey we can start making some progress.And it is in ALL of the high schools and middle schools in this area,not just New Hanover,so everyone stop bashing New Hanover.If I am not mistaken it is not New Hanover that has been in the paper for the (STAR) players being in trouble with drugs.Well until parents start going to the school board and start demanding that something gets done about it then nothing will change.The school board needs to get some kind of program going with the NHCSD or the WPD and let them start running dogs through the halls,check lockers,do something but stop just sitting around like everything is ok.New Hanover School Board members should have to go to the schools at least once a month and just observe,Do your jobs protect the children that go to school to get an education,and get the rest of them out.If they want to run drugs get on the streets,but not in our schools.If you want an education go to school and leave every thing else at home.HELL children you only live once why are you welling to go down this path.Have a great time being a teenager,b/c I asure you when you have to face the real world you will wish you would have changed a lot about you past.So have fun enjoy life,get an education,go on your class trips ,prom,and graduation,then you can be an adult and have adult situations and problems.LEAVE the DRUGS ALONE.There is no future in it but JAIL.

Kids Today

Kids today are NOT like the once were, kid's today as young as 10 are smoking crack, getting pregnant, killing for tennis shoes...the whole innocence of youth ends around age 8 anymore


iam so proud of my son he is in the 12 grade and never wanted to try any drugs and he want hang out with people that does , he has 2 older brothers that did and got into troulble with them i think that is what helped him but now the other two dont mess with drugs neither

So your son...

doesn't "experiment" with drugs as his brothers did. My question is whether you did, 'cause if so, it would explain your atrocious grammar.

he's 12. He probably isn't

he's 12. He probably isn't into girls yet either. Things change as children become adults.


Why is it you guys always go to New Hanover High School for all your comments on situations?Why can't you go to Ashley High or Good Old Hoggard High school? I just believe that this town has it out for new hanover high school in some way or another. Is it that only bad things happen there and never at the other schools? Except when it comes to football players?


All the high schools in this county have their share of problems. But its usually New Hanover High School that have them on a larger scale. We hear about people being shot and killed near the school all the time. And the gang and drug activity in that area seems to be alot worse. If these things are happening as often near the streets of Ashley or Hoggard or Laney as they are at and near NHHS then parents should be made aware of it. One incident involving a football player does not make the school dangerous. New Hanover High School has alot of good teachers and students but the area is dangerous and effects the students who go there.

Guest 30

Yeah, but you don't see Hoggards school pictured on here even when they do have just as big a problem as New Hanover does. It always seems to be New Hanover. Even when the stories are about something else, it still seems to be New Hanovers Picture up here.


This is the second incident of drugs on the Hoggard football team in just a few months. Is there more that people are unware of?

Parents can only see drug tests results if teen says ok

Its great they have drug prevention programs for teens. And its correct to recommend that parents be more involved in helping their teen make the right choices, but many teens are involved in afterschool activities, and belong to the youth group at church, and have a pretty good rapport with their parents. But still more than half of teens are experimenting, so its obvious that no matter what an adult does many teens do still make wrong choices. What they need to do is get the state involved. Parents need to be able to be involved and help there teen after they made the wrong choice. State law puts that power in the teens hand. Because when they get caught and parents want to help them and send them for treatment, the state law is that any child over 14 must sign a consent to allow their parents to see the results of any tests given. If they do not sign, then anything done at the treatment center is not shared with the parent. If the teen says they tried smoking pot but did not sign the consent form you will never know if they may have also tried crack or cocaine, etc. The parent lives with them everyday and needs to know if their mood swing is from being a typical teen or an after effect of a drug they are taking. Oh and if your teen is really having issues and you send them to the crisis center to find out if its mental or drug related. They will do a bunch of tests and the parent will be the only one that can not see the results unless the teen consents. You wonder if they should get mental help or substance counseling. Hope that your teen is in the right frame of mind (which they probally wont be if you had to bring them there in the first place) and they sign the consent form. The parent also needs to know if treatment is really helping or are they failing their drug tests every other week. The state allows every counselor, doctor, etc to know. But the parent only with consent. You can ground your child until they sign. Or they may willingly sign. But my question is, why is the state giving the teen a choice over what should be parental rights in the first place. And why are the people handling the hotlines and giving out advice unaware of this law and parents dont find out until after they seek help and ask for test results.

Test the teachers and staff

Test the teachers and staff and you might find out that they are the larger part of the drug problem in the schools of New Hanover County. Complacency of the staff and teachers and the numbers that are charged and prosecuted for DWI's might surprise those that look into the numbers. Just for starters, cross reference the crime map and the address's of the teachers living in the Wilmington area. That is SURPRISING!

Oh please help us all....

Test the Teachers? Because "They" are the problem? I don't think so. Talk about someone who must have been high when they wrote something. You may find a teacher out there smoking pot or popping pills every once in a while but as a whole I don't believe they are a problem. Test the parents daily and you will see where 3/4 of these "problems" come from. The only test I see that should be done is on you for mental deffect.

Oh please! Test the parents

Oh please! Test the parents if you want to know where the problem starts!