DECA Students Host Panel on Substance Abuse

What you don’t know about drugs CAN hurt you!


Ben Goldman

West Bloomfield High School will be hosting an informative panel about substance abuse in the community this Wednesday, January 11. This unprecedented event was devised by seniors Brandon Crawford and Lauren Zimmerman, and sophomore Zach Crawford, as part of their DECA public relations project.

The panel will be free of charge, with the goal of raising awareness for substance abuse, which is a growing and serious issue in both the West Bloomfield area and across the country.

“We are holding this panel to address the rising underage substance epidemic in our area,” said Brandon Crawford. “We’re doing it to inform students, parents, and teachers about the epidemic and how to help. We want them to walk away learning what is going on in their own community.”

The panel will feature a number of experts from several different backgrounds, including Lisa Kaplan (Maplegrove Education), Chief Michael Patton (West Bloomfield Police Department), Naomi Ishioka (Beaumont Hospital Troy & Royal Oak Emergency Departments). Also joining the panel is a recovering addict from Families Against Narcotics.

“The use of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs is a major problem facing the youth not only in our community, but around the country,” said DECA teacher Ms. Zalla. “I believe parents can benefit from learning from experts tools to help prevent substance abuse in their children. I also believe it is important for our students to know the dangers, warning signs and prevention.”

In addition to this panel, WBHS will be holding a “red out” during school on Wednesday. Red is the color typically associated with substance abuse, so Brandon, Zach, and Lauren hope students will wear the color red to help them promote their message.

“I am so proud of them,” continued Ms. Zalla. “They have worked hard to organize this event.  I know it will be a success.  It is wonderful to see our students working hard and giving back to our community.”

Ms. Zalla is proud, and so are we.

The panel will be held at 7:00 pm on Wednesday, January 11, in the West Bloomfield High School iCenter.