Senator Rick Scott has written a letter to all public school superintendents in Florida, urging them to better educate students about the deadly fentanyl crisis. In February, Senator Scott held a roundtable discussion on the issue that included parents and leaders representing border patrol officers and law enforcement, as well as subject-matter experts.
During the roundtable, parents and other attendees emphasized the current lack of public education on fentanyl in schools and the need for better engagement with victims’ families to share stories and the true pain and loss that this illegal drug creates.
According to Senator Scott, in 2021, 1,145 children aged 14-18 died due to a fentanyl overdose, which is roughly the size of a high school classroom every week. In his letter, he emphasized the need for a new approach that students cannot simply tune out or ignore. Senator Scott urges superintendents to engage with parents of victims and allow them to be the powerful messengers they are as they work to save lives.
“Parents of victims are eager to help prevent future tragedies like the ones they have experienced, but they have told me they often receive pushback when speaking with school districts about providing educational seminars to students on the dangers of fentanyl. When drug overdoses are the third-leading cause of death amongst children and adolescents, it shocks me that any school district could be against working with these volunteer organizations to promote educational programs that will save kids’ lives,” Senator Scott wrote in the letter.
Local Recovery Advocate George Colon told Indian River News, “Clearly the Urgency is Needed as American Lives are Murdered by Illicit Fentanyl! The Time for Action, Education and Accountability are Vital each and every day!”
Colon spoke infront of the Indian River County Board of Commissioners, address the issue of creating a Sober Home Registry in Indian River on January 31st, 2023. (RELATED: George Colon Speaks on Sober Homes at IR County Commission Meeting)
Senator Scott concludes the letter by saying, “Together, we can help save lives and prevent the crisis from claiming more unnecessary victims. Too many families in Florida and across the country have felt the pain of losing a child. I am here to help, and willing to do what it takes to stop this growing fentanyl crisis. Please let me know what you need to be successful. My staff and I stand ready to connect you with resources and organizations to help get started.”
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