Risky behavior among Seattle high school students? Not so much

SEATTLE -- Seattle Public Schools surveyed thousands of middle and high school students to get a gauge on risky behavior.

When it comes Seattle high schools, there was a slight decrease in bullying, sexual intercourse and even cigarette use, although there was a small increase in marijuana use.

The survey is done every two years, giving parents a window into the lives of teens.

“I think it’s great to get information on what they are doing,” said Kristen Kennedy.

In 2010, 21% of high school students admitted to using pot. Last year, that number jumped to 23%. Of those students, 39% said that the pot came from a medical marijuana dispensary.

Kristen Kennedy says with so much access to pot in Washington, the latest statistics are not surprising.

“It doesn’t at all, probably makes it easier to get pot,” said Kennedy.

We called several medicinal marijuana stores; no one wanted to go on camera but one shop told us they never sell to anyone under 18 even if they have a medical marijuana prescription.

"Regardless of what the state law is we are going to have challenges with kids and marijuana,” said Lisa Sharp with Seattle Public Schools.

But some teens believe the state’s legalization of pot will encourage even more students to try marijuana.

“Just because it is legal, maybe they think it's OK,” said Roosevelt High School student Adri Santos.

When it comes to alcohol, the survey shows a small decrease -- but of the 24% of kids who fessed up to drinking, 60% said hard liquor was their drink of choice.

“I think it’s a lot more common than they think it is, so it is a wake-up call on what’s going on in their kids' school,” said Santos.

Sharp says she’s received reports from various schools about more kids bringing liquor to school ever since liquor was privatized.

“I definitely use this data to train teachers, nurses and counselors to help them with the issues we are having in our district,” said Sharp.

Although high schools saw a decrease in bullying cases, it was the opposite for middle schools. Eighth graders reported more cases of bullying last year.

Overall, the school system says the survey is positive because it shows most students do not engage in risky behavior.

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