HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Tucker’s Law mandates that kids in public schools are taught about the dangers of fentanyl and other drug poisonings.
The dangers of fentanyl are being seen across the Rio Grande Valley.
Local authorities have attributed several recent overdoses to the drug, in what’s being called a fentanyl crisis.
Tucker’s Law was named after Tucker Roe, a 19-year-old from Leander, Texas, who died in 2021.
Police said he bought what he thought was the painkiller percocet off Instagram. That pill was believed to have been laced with fentanyl, taking his life.
School districts in the area are applying the law that bears his name.
The Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District says its already begun to implement the educational curriculum.
“We have been proactive with that already this year and we are going to continue,” Veronica Kortan, Deputy Superintendent for the District said.
Kortan said the district was partnering with Harlingen police and other law enforcement officials to apply Tucker’s Law.
The law states that students in 6th through 12th grades must receive ten hours of education on the topic every year.
Harlingen CISD intends to exceed the ten-hour minimum.
Kortan says its important to consistently educate students about the dangers of fentanyl and other drugs.
“It’s not just a one time thing either, right? It has to be an ongoing campaign. And so, as we progress throughout the year, that’s one of the goals of our Director of Guidance and Counseling, to make sure that it’s always going to be something that’s at the forefront,” Kortan said.
Kortan went on to say Harlingen CISD ensures kids have the skills needed to cope with adversity in their lives without resorting to drugs.
She said addressing mental health was an important part of the district’s efforts, and that students in particular could benefit from counseling services.
“How to equip our students on how to cope. How to have the grit to persist through things that aren’t really pleasant in life. And very often we realize, that when we get in front of it like that, our students don’t have the need to turn to fentanyl or anything else for that matter,” Korean said.
Harlingen CISD hosts in-person and online events to help educate parents about drug use.
Kortan says its important for parents to ask their kids questions about what they’re going through.
She adds that children often responded better, and opened up more, through informal conversations.