Looks can be deceiving. While that’s the message of The Top Secret Project, which is coming to Shakopee on Thursday, March 15, parents need not despair. With the right information, you can decode your teenager’s life.
The Shakopee Police Department is bringing The Top Secret Project, a unique program designed to help parents recognize potential warning signs of alcohol or other drug use, to Shakopee West Junior High, 200 10th Ave. E. The program provides a hands-on environment for professionals and parents of teens to learn how to spot signs of substance abuse, disordered eating, self-harm and other mental health concerns within a teenager’s typical domain – their bedroom. The full-scale bedroom includes a single bed, dresser, desk, clothing and many of the items that are typically in a teen’s room. With almost 150 strategically placed items in the room, the exhibit helps parents recognize unfamiliar hazards that are often in plain sight.
“Parents have a responsibility to know what’s going on in their kids’ lives and take an active role,” said Police Chief Jeff Tate. “A lot of destructive behavior can be stopped if a parent is engaged and educated to identify warning signs. What better place to find those signs than a teenager’s bedroom?”
Through a display of various items, participants learn to identify objects that could provide critical insights about potentially risky behavior. Many seemingly ordinary items can actually be signals that a young person could be involved in risky, harmful, or even illegal activity. A presentation by Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation staff provides participants with insights into some of the items in the room and identifies how each can signal a warning about alcohol or other drug use, suicidal thoughts, eating disorders, bullying, criminal or gang activity, and other mental health concerns.
“Parents often ask our officers what are the warning signs of drug behavior or other destructive behaviors. This program is a hands-on opportunity to help parents learn these signs to better deal with whatever their child might be going through,” Tate said.
Schedule of events:
6:30-7 p.m. Viewing of bedroom exhibit
7-8:30 p.m. Presentation and discussion
8:30-9 p.m. Informal time/Q&A
Investigators with the Southwest Metro Drug Task Force and Shakopee Police Department will be on hand after the presentation to answer any questions you may have. This presentation has not been done in Scott County before and is a very highly rated, informative presentation.