Principal Investigator: Tim Peters

This study builds upon the work of the 2017-2018 K12 Pilot Study. The proposed 2018-2019 project will continue the focus on K12 student cannabis use, programs to prevent cannabis use, and interventions to address student violations of cannabis laws. Data will be collected from schools to determine trends in cannabis use among middle and high school students in southern Colorado. Cannabis use among LGBT students will be explored and prevention programming based on trauma informed schools will be developed and implemented locally. Restorative Justice programs for students with cannabis related infractions will be implemented and studied in Pueblo City Schools District 60 and Pueblo County School District 70. 

The 2017 K12 Pilot Study analyzed high school student use of cannabis based on data from the 2013 and 2015 Healthy Kids Colorado Survey which collected self-reported data from over 15,000 students across the state. This current proposal will synthesize data on cannabis infractions in middle and high schools through collating the years of data gathered by school district officials and law enforcement agencies in southern Colorado.

The K12 Pilot Study also focused on studying cannabis prevention education in regional middle and high schools and the effectiveness of specific marijuana education curriculum. The current proposal targets student populations who have high rates of cannabis use, specifically LGBT youth. Increased illicit drug use among LGBT youth is often reported to be connected to the unique stress factors of being a sexually identified minority. This study aims to explore the relationship between cannabis use and trauma faced by LGBT students struggling with minority sexual identification and to develop trainings for high school staff on trauma informed schools. Focus groups will be conducted with LGBT students, teachers and staff to explore cannabis use and identify needs within the school. Trauma Informed Schools training will then be developed and provided for teachers, staff, CSU-Pueblo students, and alumni.

Studies of intervention practices continue with the development of Restorative Justice Practices in schools in Pueblo County. With the support of community stakeholders regarding Restorative Justice Practices, this proposal expands Restorative Justice Practices in schools 

within Pueblo County with the long-term goal of developing a Center for Restorative Justice on the CSU-Pueblo campus. During this grant period, partnerships with D60 and D70 middle and high schools will be strengthened, a cadre of educators and other community members will be trained in Restorative Justice Practices, a qualitative study of Restorative Justice Practices in Pueblo will be conducted, and a prospectus for a Center of Restorative Justice will be written.