It's no secret that some teens get bored and sample with drugs and alcohol, but did you know that as many as 7 out of 10 Sonoma teenagers have sampled alcohol by the 11th grade?
According to recent results of the California Health Kids Survey 2011-2012, 70 percent of 11th graders surveyed last year say that they have used alcohol once in their life. That figure is up slightly from the 2009 result of 66 percent.
When it comes to marijuana, 48 percent of 11th graders say that they have used marijuana by the time they reach the 11th grade, up from 45 percent in 2009.
While the numbers for Sonoma's 11th graders are increasing, younger grade levels are decreasing. The survey results show that 6 percent of 7th graders and 21 percent of 9th graders have tried marijuana and 19 percent of 7th graders and 42 percent of 9th graders have tried alcohol.
Back in 2009, the results showed that 22 percent of 7th graders and 48 percent of 9th graders tried alcohol once in their lives, and 9 percent of 7th graders and 29 percent of 11th graders tried marijuana.
California Department of Education sponsors the survey and they are conducted anonymously and voluntary among student within the district. The goal of the survey is to assess youth health risk and resilience (well being). The results allow the school district to assess the effectiveness of current health and prevention programs and plan for program interventions.
School officials administered the survey in the spring of 2012 and included grades 5, 7, 9 and 11.
The survey also showed a decrease in the percentage of students who have been harassed in the 7th grade. In 2012, 21 percent of 7th graders said they had been harassed, back in 2009, that number was 25 percent.
The number of students who have been harassed in the 9th and 11th grade increased. Last year, 21 percent of 7th graders and 29 percent of 11th graders said they had been harassed. In 2009, that number was 25 percent and 27 percent, respectively.
Fighting among 7th graders remained stagnant at 23 percent from 2009-2011. The survey showed a decrease in the number of 9th graders who had been in a fight before, from 18 percent down to 12 percent. It also showed an increase in the amount of 11th graders who had fought, from 12 percent to 14 percent in 2012.
What is your take on these figures? Are the district, parents, students and community doing enough to keep Sonoma's children healthy?