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WDAY: The News Leader

Published March 29, 2012, 10:30 PM

Minnesota school helps parents to detect possible drug and alcohol use

Campbell-Tintah, MN (WDAY TV) - The hiding spots are shocking. The manufactured items of deception seem limitless. Today the Campbell-Tiltah school district set up a mock bedroom, showing parents where drugs and alcohol could be hidden. So just where could your child be hiding their secret stash?

The hiding spots are shocking. The manufactured items of deception seem limitless. Today the Campbell-Tiltah school district set up a mock bedroom showing parents where drugs and alcohol could be hidden. So just where could your child be hiding their secret stash?

Tracie Guerrero has never seen anything like it.

Tracie Guerrero - Mother: “It's scary all the places they can hide it, and how smart they can be to hide all that stuff.”

One bedroom, with dozens of spots to hide all sorts of illegal substances. There’s a remote control with a one-of-a-kind battery, a cleaning container with a false bottom, and a clock with a hidden compartment.

Tracie Guerrero: “It's kind of crazy the stuff that you find, you think it's regular stuff but you open it up and it's a whole new world in there, a world you don't want your kid in.”

Your child's desk is one place that can be used to hide a number of things. A simple flower vase, if you turn it around, could actually be a bong; a nail kit could be used to hide any number of things, and a bracelet can actually be a pipe.

Sheriff Rick Fiedler – Wilkin County: “Every day there's new companies coming up with ways to get our kids addicted to narcotics and drugs.”

The Wilkin County Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Coalition's Heather Miller are using Campbell-Tintah as a pilot school for the Mock Bedroom Program.

Heather Miller – Prevention Coordinator: “We want all parents to feel empowered and that they have the confidence to go in and say 'This is my house, you are my child, I am doing this for your own good.”

Is it an invasion of privacy? Maybe, but Miller says parents need to put their child's well-being first.

Tracie Guerrero: “It's kind like finding their diary and looking through it, you think maybe you shouldn't, but sometimes you need to take that active step to be in their lives to keep them in line.”

The question of snooping can be a controversial one, but even many kids we spoke with felt in certain occasions it’s okay. Several children in an anti-drug program at the school took the parents around to show them the different hiding spots.

Common spots parents should check might seem obvious like a backpack or dresser, but others can seem less obvious. Substances can be found in a dictionary, or even a thing of lipstick.

Thomas Mobraten - Freshman: “Well it's their own child so I think they have a right to go through their own child's stuff.”

Faith Goettle – 8th Grader: “Well it's their kid and if they care about them, they should not be afraid to go through and see if they're having any drugs.”

Officials hope to spread this program to other Wilkin County schools in the future.

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