‘Skittle Skool’ should be a blueprint for communities

Recognition is due Mountrail County Health Foundation, the Stanley Park District and Stanley High School for their sponsorship of “Skittle Skool” last week.

Furthermore, the wide-ranging project should be closely examined by other communities, as it might be a blueprint for similar efforts.

According to a press release from its sponsors, “The idea for Skittle School started last December when a group of local community groups, including the Stanley Police Department and Mountrail County Social Services, got together to discuss the growing problem of opioid abuse in the area. Skittle Skool got its name from the ‘skittle parties’ that drug users use. Kids go into their parents’ medicine cabinet, take pills with them to a party, mix all the drugs in a bowl and randomly pick a drug out of the bowl and take one.”

Skittle Skool, however, did not just address the issue of opioids, although that alone would be admirable given April 11 was chosen as the date because it was the Wednesday before Stanley’s prom. Instead, Skittle Skool featured some 20 presenters discussing issues ranging from texting and healthy relationships to bullying, suicide and the importance of good nutrition to the developing brain.

Skittle Skool took on a tremendous list of social ills particularly relevant to young people, presented by experts who engaged students at a critical time in the young people’s development.

Many communities have good programs addressing one or more of these issues. Skittle Skool’s wide range of important themes and its timing are both things that other communities might examine, adapt and import.