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A Letter to Junior & Senior Parents from Ms. Stefani

Dear Parents of SHS Juniors and Seniors,

Last week in Guide Group, students had the opportunity to watch the introduction to an ESPN documentary about Chris Herren, a former professional basketball player who has struggled with, and overcome, drug addiction. Herren tells his compelling story to youth all over the nation.

Issues of drug use and abuse, depression, loneliness, and acts of unkindness occur at every high school, and even with its high-achieving, empathetic student body, Stayton High School is no exception. What is unique about Herren's story is that he focuses on not on the ravages of addiction but on what leads to the first day of substance abuse. In doing so, he believes students can begin to learn to cope with their own stressors and pressures in healthier ways, be more compassionate to their peers who may be struggling, and understand that help is available to those who need it.

After viewing the rest of the film this Thursday, your son or daughter may have questions or want to talk about how he or she experienced the film. As a parent, I know that we often feel unprepared for these conversations, but there are a variety of helpful, free resources available to support positive discussion or to direct you if you’re already worried about substance abuse. Here are a few:

Vaping Guide:
Marijuana Talk Kit:
Center on Addiction:
Herren Project:

In addition, as always, we encourage students to reach out to their school counselor or other trusted adults on our staff to talk if necessary. Thank you for partnering with us to ensure our students have the courage--and the necessary support--to face life’s challenges.

If you have any questions, please contact Darren Shryock or me.

Susanne Stefani


Click here to visit the film's website for more information.