Student substance abuse counselor will work with students at the Lawn school
Stephanie Wordell will work three days a week to help students make smart decisions about issues that are of concern to them.
“My goal is to see every student in school,” Wordell said, noting that by being available and seeing students at times when they are not feeling pressured, they will be more likely to remember that she is available to them when they are in need of counseling.
Wordell explained to parents that by federal law she is bound to a standard of confidentiality between herself and any student she counsels at the school. There are three exceptions to the confidentiality rules, Wordell noted. She can break the bond if a student is planning to hurt herself, hurt someone else, or if there is someone that is planning to hurt the student.
Students are free to come in and discuss any issues that are troubling them, or can come in and confidentially refer another student for counseling, Wordell said. She noted there are referral slips and a lock box just outside her office in the junior high wing of the school.
School social worker Mark Allard added that parents who are concerned about their own children’s behaviors can refer them to a session with Wordell.
She is planning to start a chapter of SADD, which stands for Students Against Destructive Decisions, at the Lawn school, and to also get involved in programs at the Teen Center.
“I don’t want to be seen as the drug lady,” Wordell joked, and noted that she will also have an after-school scrapbooking program to get kids together for some fun as they get to know each other.