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Hannah Fredrickson is my new hero in a world with few heroes left! You see, Hannah did something almost no one her age or in her position would have done – she told the truth, in pictures no less, in the Conifer High yearbook, about the sad prevalence of alcohol and drug use by her classmates at Conifer High School, located in Conifer, Colorado. According to the Rocky Mountain News, Hannah, a senior and the yearbook editor, and her staff, made the decision to shine a light on some serious issues for their senior yearbook instead of the usual fare of senior smiles and silly stuff.

An admirable choice, right? You might think the town would have held a parade in their honor or they might have received some positive reinforcement for such a noble effort…but, sadly they did not. In fact, after publishing the yearbook, which included at least five pages of under-aged teenagers drinking and drugging, and several pictures of students proudly holding up citations for under-aged drinking, many parents condemned the pictures and the yearbook staff that published them.

What is going on here?? Are the inmates running the institution???? Hannah and her staff should have been commended for placing an emphasis on a very real alcohol and drug problem in not only their school but so many others across our nation!

According to the Colorado Department of Transportation the deadliest season of the year for teenage drivers is Spring. 71 teens died in car crashes in Colorado in 2006 – a third of them died during the months of April, May and June. And, Colorado’s own ‘drive smart’ site warns that speeding, alcohol and ‘party drugs’ greatly increase the risk of injury and death. So why did the school ‘cave’ and send an apology letter to the parents????

Hannah and her staff couldn’t have known how their warnings might have saved two of their classmates if they had only lived long enough to receive their yearbooks. You see, only days before the yearbook came out 16 year-old Justin Dorrance, a Conifer High student and six of his friends were in Justin’s Jeep when it left the road and rolled 1 ½ times finally coming to a rest upside down and partially submerged in a creek. According to the local Channel 9 news, the Colorado State Patrol was investigating the accident and they indicated that while alcohol and speed were not suspected to have caused the accident that drugs were.

All I can say is, Hannah YOU GO GIRL!! To the parents who complained and to the school administrator’s who ‘caved’, I say, SHAME ON YOU!

Written By: Carol J. Gibbons, J.D.

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  1. Jenna says:

    Hello.. i love your blog i wrote the article about the drugs and alcohol at conifer and i love that someone for once isnt bashing what we did. I stood behind our desicions then and now. Its true we wrote about the truth and the funny thing is the mother who raised hell about everything and her daughter who acted all holy and mighty drinks to.

  2. Karen Marshall says:

    Carol you should be ashamed for writing such ignorant nonsense before checking out the facts. “You go GIRL??” Go and do what, spread trash through the land? The intent and tone of this unjournalistic effort on behalf of Hannah Fredrickson was not to warn the community, not illuminate the problem of drug abuse at this high school. Typically the yearbook is not the platform for breaking controversial social concerns. A yearbook is traditionally for scrap booking fond memories of friends and teachers. Here was twisted into an anomaly of its former self and was anything other than a memory book for which it was intended. Clearly when one reads the quotes and the pictures, the intent was to promote drug abuse, to allow the students to brag about their escapades without fear of retribution. There is no conscience in the publication, no warning. Everyone in my community got that message loud and clear, why didn’t you Carol? Is it because you have an agenda to dismantle the American family? Do you think parents are so stupid that they don’t know what is going on? Apparently you weren’t paying attention to the fight that parents have in trying to keep drugs out of schools. There are plenty of families with students at that school that are practicing due diligence to educate their kids about the dangers of drug use only to have it promoted, permitted and supported in the yearbook. Its hard raising kids today, we are in the fight of our kids lives and people like you only make it worse. Instead of backing parents who are trying to a good job, you would rather support a teenage editor who has no idea what she is doing. What you do Carol is what is wrong with America. Adults like you who are to weak to tell kids the truth, to tell them no that is wrong. The deaths of two boys the day the year book was released was not mere coincidence. And it served as an exclamation point to this sickness in our community where kids think doing drugs is normal. If they were alive to read that yearbook it would have given them encouragement to do just what they did: smoke pot, load up the car with friend and drive up into the mountain! Parents are aware, they live through it, they fear their kids may get sucked in by it. We don’t need the yearbook promoting it. We don’t need your stupid comments either.

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