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"Forgiving Kevin": Larry Glenz's Special Assembly


March 18, 2015
By DANIELLE CHRISTIAN

  On October 30th, Seaford High School students, faculty, and parents were present for an influential, eye-opening assembly with an important message. Larry Glenz, a retired Lynbrook High School social studies teacher, took our school’s community through the ups and downs and ultimately the heartache of his son Kevin’s drug addiction.
  Kevin Glenz was a star athlete. He played football, lacrosse, and wrestled throughout his life. He was also a student who struggled with a learning disability, but he made it through with a lot of hard work.  Kevin looked up to his father and his many coaches. He attended UMass and many, without knowing him, would say he lived an almost perfect life. Unfortunately, Kevin had a deadly seven-year addiction to heroin and suffered relapse after relapse.
  Larry Glenz presented his and Kevin’s story to our school on an average Thursday morning. It’s safe to say many left the assembly feeling differently than they had entered.
  “I learned more about the types of drugs that are out there. A lot of people might have found the assembly relatable because they might have family members who suffer from addiction,” student Sidney McLaughlin said when asked about how the assembly impacted people.
  “It hit close to home since it was such a typical story and family. They lived on Long Island,” student Jillian Emanuel added.
  Near the end of the assembly, Larry Glenz stated he was unsure of what the audience would take out of his presentation. When asked what they thought the purpose was of having the assembly, students and faculty gave a variety of answers.
  “I feel the goal was to scare the kids to never do these drugs. To be presented with what happens when getting involved in heroin and other drugs could help these kids. If he could get just one kid to not use heroin, that’s everything,” Mrs. Lazicky, an English teacher, shared.
  “The goal was for a father to share his story of his son battling drug addiction with the hopes of impacting students from making the same decisions,” science teacher Mrs. Cupo expressed.
  “I feel the purpose of the assembly was to save lives,” student and athlete Dana Duggan agreed.
  The assembly’s impact was questioned as well when the audience was asked if they felt the assembly was effective to it’s target audience. 
  “I felt it depended because kids I think didn’t see the true message as much as parents did. It hit close to home for parents since Larry was telling the story of his own son.” Mrs Lazicky said, “Kids I don’t feel understood as much.”
“I think it wasn’t as effective just because a lot of kids didn’t take it in the way it was supposed to be. He focused more on what activities his son did and not the actual addiction.” Jillian Emanuel expressed.
  As an athlete, Dana Duggan expressed how athletes might have been impacted more than the average kid. “Kevin was a great athlete and his death and addiction shows how one wrong turn makes a big difference.”
  And how big of a problem is addiction for this generation? Members of Seaford High School mostly all agreed: a large one.
  “Kids think it’s cool to fall to peer pressure,” Dana Duggan says.
  “New York is a big spot for heroin, so it’s really increased.” Jillian Emanuel adds.
  “It’s an enormous problem, and not just on the island. This Is for two reasons: the recreational use of drugs has been more widely accepted by youth and it’s easier to obtain these drugs more than ever before.” Mrs. Cupo says.
  “Seaford has done an excellent job at attempting to address the drug addiction issue. Even though our town hasn’t been impacted as much, they still manage to address it.” Mrs. Lazicky agrees.
  The main thing is to think about the choices you make before you make them, and not rely on others to think for you. If you ever do need help, there’s always someone who is willing to be there for you and help bring you off of that path, whether it be a friend, family member, or teacher. Larry Glenz helped make that point clear.