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By Brian Park
Dana Point will continue to fund a drug intervention specialist position at Dana Hills High School after the Capistrano Unified School District Board of Trustees approved an agreement with the city Wednesday.
The position was created in 2009 to provide support for students battling drug problems or who are at-risk. Former CUSD trustee Mike Darnold has served the role since the program’s inception. Last year, about 10 percent of Dana Hills’ student population approached Darnold for assistance, according to a district staff report.
However, Trustee Jim Reardon voted against the agreement, saying that the district should be providing those services, or at least, making sure the specialist was qualified. Both Reardon and Trustee Ellen Addonizio also objected because the specialist would report back to Dana Point’s assistant city manager.
“The city of Dana point is not a mental health provider,” Reardon said. “If we’re going o be providing these kinds of services, they need to be done by a qualified individual.”
Trustee Amy Hanaceck was part of a 4-2 vote approving the memorandum of understanding, with Trustee Anna Bryson absent. Hanaceck said Dana Point was providing a valuable service to the school and that the city should be praised.
“I’m not comfortable saying thanks but no thanks to the city of Dana Point,” Hanaceck said. “We’ve got a great partnership. The city really values their high school.”