By Luke Baynes
The Vermont Kids Against Tobacco leadership group will hold a “dialogue night” April 11 from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the Williston Central School dining room to discuss the results of the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, an initiative co-sponsored by the Vermont departments of Health and Education.
The results of the spring 2011 survey are available for the Chittenden South Supervisory Union level on the Vermont Department of Health’s website, but will be discussed specific to WCS on April 11.
In addition to tobacco use, the anonymous survey asked students about alcohol and drug use, sexual activity and other potentially risky behaviors.
The introduction to the biennial survey states: “The YRBS can indicate what students are doing. It can also suggest which groups of students are more likely to engage in these behaviors. However, the survey does not answer the most important question: Why are they doing it?”
The whys of risky youth behavior will be part of the dialogue night at WCS, which will ask parents and their children to sit at different tables “in order to enrich these conversations about adolescent issues.”
While VKAT comprises just seventh and eighth grade students, Sarah Klionsky, a student assistance program counselor at WCS, said the school also created a fifth and sixth grade tobacco prevention group called Leave Us Clean Air, or LUCA.
“WCS Leave Us Clean Air club collected 211 postcards signed by students last week to send a message to movie companies to ‘stop product placement of cigarettes in G, PG and PG-13 movies,’” Klionsky wrote in an email to the Observer.