Parents must attend opioid abuse seminar to attend 8th-grade graduation

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OLD BRIDGE -

Parents of eighth-graders of one Middlesex County school district must attend an opioid abuse seminar if they want to attend their child’s graduation ceremony.

Old Bridge Superintendent David Cittadino says that he wants more parents to learn about the signs of opioid abuse in teenagers.

“I have to do something drastic,” Cittadino says. “I find myself attending funeral services for students that I was their principal in middle school and high school and each one takes more and more of a toll on me."

A family member of each student must attend a one-hour seminar in April or they will not receive tickets for the graduation ceremony. Cittadino says that he feared that too many parents would choose not to attend if the seminar was not mandatory.

Middle School PTA presidents Francine Miraglia and Joanne Cavanagh say that they support the mandated opioid session. But they say that they have heard from parents who object because of work and other reasons.

“There's been a few that have reached out and shown that they do not support it,” Miraglia says. “That it's inconvenient. That they do not have the time to take this one-hour class."

Cavanagh says, “I wish they would have had this last year when my son graduated. Because I was very naive in middle school that all this was really even happening."

The seminars are called Hidden in Plain Sight. They will be led by a former official with the Drug Enforcement Agency.

Families will have their choice of three meetings to attend before graduation.

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