STHS using questionable anti-drug program

Even though the California Department of Education in 2005 warned districts against using Narconon as a viable drug prevention curriculum, the group is still in schools – including South Tahoe High School.

“Yes, Narconon has sent a guest presenter to the Health Seminar class at STHS. They share curriculum with the students to have them avoid drug use and abuse,” STHS Principal Ivone Larson told Lake Tahoe News.

She said the curriculum includes:

• The difference between taking a drug for a necessary reason and taking a drug for a recreational reason.

• The dangers of drugs (overdose, addiction).

• Goal setting.

• The presenters’ “story” all have been past addicts who have recovered at the Narconon facilities.

• The process of addiction.

• The affects of drugs on the nervous system.

• The affects on driving.

The state’s issue with Narconon is that it was developed by the late L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology and Dianetics.

The state Department of Education has not changed its stance since first writing on Feb. 24, 2005, “Narconon’s drug prevention program does not reflect accurate, widely-accepted medical and scientific evidence.”

Larson said, “They are on the list of Health Seminar presenters because they share their story of drug abuse and how it has affected their lives. We continue to use a variety of resources to address current topics in the Health Seminar class that meet the needs of all our students.”

Narconon presenters at STHS are not allowed to not leave a phone number for students call, hand out any information, recruit, discuss their program’s steps or the philosophy behind it, Larson said.

Melody Easton, South Tahoe Drug Free Coalition coordinator, said, “I don’t know enough about this to comment.”

Narconon has an office in South Lake Tahoe, though it is not regularly staffed.

— Lake Tahoe News staff report