Degrees and Certifications:


Sonia, a K-9 Malinois, joined the Big Spring ISD Safety and Security Department as a narcotics detection K-9. Sonia was born in Poland before moving to the United States where she underwent training in narcotics detection. Sonia works with her handler, Mr. Jim Wommack, to help detect and deter the presence of narcotics within the campuses of Big Spring ISD. Sonia enjoys her work and has become a visible presence on the Big Spring ISD campuses. Sonia has an office in the Safety and Security building where she rests between working, training, and playing. While Sonia enjoys her work, she also enjoys her obedience training and exercise time in which she plays as hard as any other dog.

  • Substance abuse encompasses a harmful pattern of use of alcohol, tobacco products, and illegal drugs; this includes the presence of substance use and trade within school and campus environments and during school-related activities. The use of alcohol, tobacco, and other illegal drugs undermines students’ ability to achieve success academically. Substance abuse is associated with other harmful behaviors, and is incompatible with a school climate of respect, safety, and support for learning.

    Substance use is usually a symptom of a greater problem like a mental health issue, trauma, stress or pressure. There may be a variety of reasons that kids and teens are exploring substance use, like:  

    • Peer pressure. Adolescents are often motivated to seek new experiences, particularly those they perceive as thrilling or daring. If they are a part of a group of friends or peers where substance use is accepted or encouraged, there is a greater chance that they will participate or experiment in order to fit in.
    • Rebelling against parents. If a teen isn’t getting along with their parents or family, they may turn to substances to lash out.
    • Trauma. Many young people begin taking drugs to numb the physical or emotional pain associated with trauma.
    • Poor performance at school. Some adolescents may turn to certain drugs like prescription stimulants because they think those substances will enhance their ability to do homework and improve their grades.
    • Self-image issues. Young people may begin taking stimulants to lose weight or seek an unrealistic body type. In these cases, it’s common for eating disorder behaviors to be mixed with substance use

    There are many different classes of substances and common drug names that may be commonly accessed by teens. These include illicit (or illegal) drugs, prescription medications and other substances like: 

    • Alcohol.  
    • Cannabis, such as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and marijuana.   
    • Cocaine and methamphetamines. 
    • Prescription stimulants, such as ADHD medications.   
    • Inhalants, such as gas and solvents.  
    • Synthetic substances, like synthetic cannabinoids (also known as synthetic marijuana, K2 or spice) or synthetic cathinone (known as bath salts).   
    • Hallucinogens like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), acid or mushrooms.  
    • Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) like ecstasy or molly.   
    • Prescription pain relievers, like opioids or sedatives. 
    • Heroin.  

    In the U.S., there has been an increasing trend of teens using new substances such as synthetic drugs and prescription pills.  

    Part of that increase is due to the prevalence and access to these substances on social media. A teen can find someone with the substance online, request it online, pay online and then set up a time to meet – all without a parent or guardian noticing. And, once the teen does have the physical substance, it may be a small pill that doesn’t smell and can’t be easily detected. Many substances may also be easily concealed in vape pens.  

    A teen may also try to get prescription medications or other illicit substances from an adult family member or friend. Medical professionals suggests that parents always keep track of what medications they have at home and make sure to lock them in a medicine cabinet or medicine lockbox.

    Starting a conversation with someone about their drug addiction is never easy, but it’s important you come from a place of compassion and understanding. Remember, no one sets out to become an addict. Drug abuse is often a misguided attempt to cope with painful issues or mental health problems. Stress tends to fuel addictive behavior, so criticizing, demeaning, or shaming them will only push your loved one away and may even encourage them to seek further comfort in substance abuse.

    Discovering someone you love has a drug problem can generate feelings of shock, fear, and anger, especially if it’s your child or teen who’s using. These strong emotions can make communicating with a drug user even more challenging. So, it’s important to choose a time when you’re both calm, sober, and free of distractions to talk. Offer your help and support without being judgmental.

    Don’t delay. You don’t have to wait for your loved one to hit rock bottom—to get arrested, lose their job, suffer a medical emergency, or publicly humiliate themselves—to speak out. The earlier an addiction is treated, the better.

    Express your concerns honestly. Emphasize that you care for the person and are worried about their well-being. Offer specific examples of your loved one’s drug-related behavior that have made you concerned—and be honest about your own feelings.

    Listen. Even when you don’t agree with the person, take the time to listen to what they have to say, without trying to argue or contradict them. The more your loved one feels heard, the more they’ll see you as supportive, someone they can confide in.

  • Texas HB 114 went into effect in September 2023. HB 114 states the conditions under which a student may be either removed from class and placed in a disciplinary alternative education program, or expelled from a school for the possession, use, or delivery of marihuana or e-cigarettes on or near a public school property or at certain school events. The legislation requires a student to be removed from class and placed in a Disciplinary Alternative Education Program, or DAEP, if the student meets specific criteria, including committing certain actions within 300 feet of school property. The bill also covers any school-sponsored or school-related activity on or off school property. Students caught selling or under the influence also fall under the new bill.