CRASH COURSE: A Head of School, His Son's Addiction, and Lessons for Schools and Families
In his 1st semester as Head of Brentwood School in L.A., the author encounters his 1st case of a student abusing drugs/alcohol. It's his son David who he didn't know was an addict. This is the story of David's struggle with addiction, its impact on the family, setbacks on the road to his recovery, and how Pratt used it all to create a more effective and humane drug/alcohol policy for the school. More
Michael Pratt is a distinguished educator who served for ten years as Head of the prestigious Brentwood School in Los Angeles. In his very first semester at the school he came face to face with one of the most pressing issues affecting education today – adolescent alcohol and drug use. Only in this case the student using and abusing drugs was Pratt’s son, David. Until that moment he had no idea his son was an addict.
In CRASH COURSE Pratt describes David’s struggle with addiction, its impact on their family, and the numerous setbacks his son experienced on the road to recovery. It's a common enough story except this was a journey both personal and professional. In addition to the private crisis any parent goes through when finding out his or her child is experimenting with drugs and faces school disclipline, the situation represented an enormous professional challenge for Pratt. He was responsible for protecting the integrity of the school while simultaneously supporting his son.
The impossibility of separating the personal and professional aspects of the story proved to be a blessing in disguise. Drawing on his experiences both as the father of an adolescent addict and as a Head of school, Pratt developed a more humane and balanced approach for Brentwood to student alcohol and drug use that included a mix of new policies and a series of prevention programs. In sharing his and David's story he hopes to help other schools and parents mitigate adolescent alcohol and drug use and support those students who run off the rails.
Get to know the author, Michael Pratt, by checking out his exclusive interviews on CBS News Weekend Roundup with Dan Raviv http://bit.ly/1di0ISE and mOppenheim.TV http://www.moppenheim.tv/crashcourse/