Hidden in Plain Sight

WG Parents Look for Hidden Clues in Normal Teen Rooms

Can YOU Spot a Potential Problem ?

Can YOU Spot a Potential Problem ?

“Looks can be deceiving,” is the motto for the Bath and Copley Township Police Departments. Since 2011, the Bath and Copley Police Departments have joined forces to provide “Hidden In Plain Sight” to Summit County and surrounding counties, school districts, school staff and agency professionals. More than 125 presentations have been made to 7,500 adults. They have created a traveling exhibit that shows parents clues of risky behavior their sons or daughters could be taking part in. They display what seems to be a “normal” teenager’s bedroom, but hidden around the room, are items that can be signs of substance abuse, underage drinking, eating disorders, sexual activity and more.

The audience typically has 30 minutes to “snoop and search” the display. A 2-½ hour informative and entertaining PowerPoint presentation follows the “snoop.” An audience size of 50 or more is not uncommon. Because of the nature of the materials presented, no students are permitted to attend. When asked if West Geauga was going to deviate from the protocol and allow 18 year old’s in, Principal Mr. Jay Bishop said, “No way. This is for the adults only.” Presenters include a mix of police officers and civilian employees with many years of experience working with young people.

West Geauga High School hosted the exhibit in late September, 2016. The informative night began at 6 p.m. and ran, as planned, for about 2 hours. Parents only were admitted, as previously noted. They took part in the 30 minute “browse” and followed that with the 2 hour presentation from the police. Parents were educated on the signs of risky, dangerous, and possible illegal activity their kids could be involved in. The Chesterland Police Department was also present and involved with the presentation.

If you missed the exhibit, you can go to http://www.copley.oh.us/police/hidden-in-plain-site for a list of future presentations.