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Hidden in Plain Sight teen bedroom display comes to West Campus Oct. 24

A typical teen bedroom will be on display at McHenry High School - West Campus during parent teacher conferences on Oct. 24 to help parents learn about items that may not be as harmless as they look.

Experts from the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition plan to be on-hand to answer questions about items that may be found in a teen’s room, and which items could indicate a problem. The bedroom display, called “Hidden in Plain Sight,” is part of a national campaign to educate parents about substance abuse as well as other unhealthy behavior.

The teen bedroom display will be set up in the north end of the cafeteria at West Campus, from 5 p.m. to around 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 24 to correspond with evening parent teacher conferences. Parent teacher conferences will also be held at 8-11 a.m. Oct. 25 at both East and West.

Though the display will be set up at West Campus, parents from East Campus are invited to come take a look. Maura Reid, McHenry High School District 156’s coordinator of prevention and wellness, said she is hoping to bring the display to East in the next few months.

Among the items displayed in the teen’s room are vaping items so that parents can recognize possible e-cigarette use. Despite the news of lung injuries across the nation as a result of vaping, the trend among teens is still fairly popular, according to a recent NPR article.

Reid said the display is meant to not only educate parents, but also prompt them to have conversations with their children about risky behavior. 

Experts note that not all items seen in the display are likely to be found in one teen’s room, and not all items are necessarily risky when used correctly. But the display is a start in the education process for parents and their children.

“There are going to be some really important things that parents will want to see,” Reid said. “Parents can then have conversations with their kids.”

For more information on the McHenry County Substance Abuse Coalition, visit the organization’s website.