Monson police find needles where kids play, educate - CBS 3 Springfield - WSHM

Monson police find needles where kids play, educate children about heroin epidemic

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Luana Grinkawitch and her daughter, who is a kindergartner in the Monson Public School District. Luana Grinkawitch and her daughter, who is a kindergartner in the Monson Public School District.
MONSON, MA (WSHM) -

Monson's police officers have found five syringes and needles in areas near where children play and they're taking action so parents stay informed.

When Monson police found the needles up and down Main Street they sent a notice to the school superintendent's office.

Superintendent Cheryl Clark has made students at every school well informed about the needles found in the area. Once they received the press release from the police, she notified parents and health teachers.

"We're handling it a little differently at each school because of the ages of the students. At middle school they're discussing it in health class, and high school has discussions with small groups."

She said the students have been very receptive to the information. Students at the elementary school were taught class by class telling them simply not touch, and to ask lots of questions.

"Feedback has been very positive by parents. They're discussing it at home, too, following up. So, the connection between school and home is positive, We want to empower kids at all levels so they're safe," Clark said.

Luana Grinkawitch has a kindergartner in the Monson Public School District. She said she's happy that the school called, sent home notices, and is taking action to explain to young students safety procedures.

"I have a son that picks up trash so I don't want him picking that up," Grinkawitch said.

Monson police officials said the needles are just part of the problem with the heroin epidemic that's going on in the area. They said the department has had six arrests for heroin possession so far this year.

Monson police has asked residents to notify the health department if they spot any needles.

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