Wauwatosa East and West Student News

The Tosa Compass

Wauwatosa East and West Student News

The Tosa Compass

Wauwatosa East and West Student News

The Tosa Compass

HOSA Survey Reveals Trends in Dangerous Activities

It’s a common fact that some of the most risky individuals in the world are teenagers. They just are; they do what they want, when they want, and often, they rarely think about the consequences. Now as normal as this behavior has come to be, parents and members of the community are still concerned about the dangerous activities teens participate in.

One program that targets those dangerous trends is a survey called the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YBRS). YRBS is used nationally, but
is formatted to fit each individual area, and its questions are based on any issues the community feels are becoming a serious problem. The
120 question computer program covers a wide variety of topics including tobacco, alcohol, and substance use, mental health, physical activity, personal safety, and reproductive health. The survey is taken on the computer and is completely random. In fact, the logins used on the computers are even general.

Wauwatosa East and West students took the YBRS in late October of 2010 over a three day period and before in 2007. In 2007, only freshman and juniors took the survey, which asked different questions. 391 students were picked randomly, resulting in 198 males being selected, along with 193 females. That total amount was split pretty evenly among grades, unlike the previous test in 2007, which only
featured freshman and juniors. The survey is sponsored by the local
program Tosa United, which is a group of concerned parents and administrators that look at harmful developing trends in today’s youth
and stages interventions. East and West’s personal version
of the survey included all the elements of the traditional test, but questions on the choking game were added.

One of the questions, “Have you ever tried cigarette smoking, even 1 or 2 puffs?” showed some interesting data. About 32% of students in Wauwatosa admit to trying a cigarette, compared with the national average of about 46%.

Students were also asked, “Have you had at least on drink of alcohol more than one time during the past thirty days, excluding religious purposes?” To which about 32% of students had. Principal Frank Calarco expressed his concern after seeing the data, saying that a main goal for West is to, “discourage kids from coming to school under the influence.” After all, you can’t learn if you’re nursing a hangover.

One of the most shocking results came from the question, “Do you think most or all people your age would say it’s okay to smoke marijuana?” According to East and West, 46%, almost half of the students pooled, said yes, that it’s okay to smoke an illegal drug. Getting drugs out of school is an emphasis for this school year. In an effort, Officer Braun has had the sniffing dogs brought in. “One difference, is that they’re searching the lockers, and in the parking lots, for drugs that are in cars,” Calarco revealed.

In response to the question, “Do you agree that harassment and bullying by other students is a problem at your school?” about 45% of students said agreed. Calarco commented that, “I’m deeply saddened that so many kids feel that way. This is a problem that we’re really trying to improve here at West.”

The question, “Do you get more than or equal to 8 hours of sleep on an average school night?” revealed a drastic difference between West and East and the US. Only 27% of students in Wauwatosa get the recommended 8 hours, while 46% do nationally. “I think this just shows how involved and motivated our students here at West and in Wauwatosa are,” Calarco said.

Each year, the survey varies, in order to fit the problems that arise over the two year difference. One question that will most likely be added next year will have to do with the sense of belonging students feel at both East and West. “Many student who don’t achieve here aren’t involved and don’t feel like they belong,” states Calarco. The administration would also like to see a question added dealing with how comfortable students feel seeking out help from faculty about drugs and alcohol. “We’ve found that a lot of kids here have bad home lives and don’t have someone they can go to, to ask for help,” comments Calarco. The goal is that every student has someone in the building they can confide in if they’re having some difficulties.

Although this year’s result didn’t provide much of a comparison, the hope is to continue to indentify and stop dangerous behavior in teenagers.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Tosa Compass

The Tosa Compass is the only dedicated Wauwatosa newspaper, providing quality news coverage. Your donation will support the student journalists of Wauwatosa East and West, helping us purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Tosa Compass

Comments (0)

All The Tosa Compass Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *