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Inside the Elementary School Where Drug Addiction Sets the Curriculum

 The classroom is becoming the battleground in the war against drug addiction where the next generation will be saved or lost in Ohio, which in 2017 had the second highest rate of opioid overdose deaths in the country.

Earlier this year, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine proposed $550 million in student wellness funding for schools like Minford Elementary, including a drug prevention curriculum that focuses on “social and emotional” learning — exercises intended to teach students how to cope with the consequences of an opioid epidemic that has ravaged their community and shows no signs of abating.

In Minford, the toll has been exacting: Last academic year, four kindergartners lost parents to fatal overdoses and a fifth had a parent killed in a drug-related homicide. Some of the children were in the same room with their parents when they died.