The Westfield High School Parent-Teacher-Student Organization (PTSO) recently hosted “Hidden in Plain Sight,” a presentation that centers on a mock teenager’s bedroom to help parents and caregivers learn how to spot potential signs that their child might be abusing drugs, alcohol and/or other substances.  

Approximately 600 parents and other adults attended the Jan. 24 event, presented by Special Agent Timothy McMahon, Community Outreach Coordinator for the New Jersey Division of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration.

“WHS, the PTSO and all who helped with the presentation were thrilled with the great turn out and positive feedback we received from all who attended,” said Carolyn Miller, WHS PTSO Co-President.

Sign Up for E-News

Miller says School Resource Officer Elizabeth Savnik of the Westfield Police Department, who had seen the presentation previously, reached out to the WHS PTSO last fall to suggest that they invite McMahon to Westfield High School.  The event garnered the support of the Westfield Board of Education, the Westfield Municipal Alliance, the district’s Parent-Teacher Council, and others, while WHS principal Derrick Nelson and Maureen Mazzarese, director of counseling services for K-12. answered high school-related concerns at a Q&A session following the presentation.

“It truly was a community event with everyone coming together to make it a success,” Miller said.

For those parents/caregivers unable to attend “Hidden in Plain Sight,” a video of the presentation can be found here.  Additionally, Agent McMahon suggests the following resources for parents and students:

Get Smart About Drugs

Just Think Twice

Campus Drug Prevention

Operation Prevention

NJ Division of Mental Health and Addiction Services