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      Substance abuse decrease in AISD students, according to survey

      The Texas Prevention Impact Index surveyed Amarillo students grades 6-12 about their perceptions of high risk behaviors.

      Amarillo ISD used TPII to measure participation in high risk behaviors by youth.

      Dr. Robert Landry from Research and Educational Services, evaluator for Safe Schools/Healthy Students, presented the findings.

      "It's designed to take a look at risk factors that kids are confronted with on a day to day basis," said Landry.

      Since 2006, results show a steady decline in deviant behaviors, thanks to the AISD Safe Schools/Healthy Students Program.

      Factors measured include:

      • Past 30 day use of alcohol
      • Past 30 day use of marijuana
      • Past 30 day use of synthetic drugs
      • Perception of school safety
      • Bullying rates

      "The program addresses a lot of the issues that tend to be presented when there are problems with safety in schools, and that includes gangs, violence, drug abuse, mental health issues, student behavior, and basically social and emotional development," said Safe School Program Director Melynn Huntley.

      School officials said early education about substance abuse has helped the decrease in risky behaviors.

      "One of the things that we've been able to do is comprehensive education and violence education," said Huntley. "We have programs from Kindergarten to 8th grade, we have things going on consistently, year after year, that build upon each other."

      For more information on Safe Schools/Healthy Students' efforts, visit