The Ledger

Breaking News

The Ledger

The Ledger

Washington States New House Bill 1956: Lucas Petty Act

Lucas Daniel Trujillo-Petty

Lucas Petty, a former Clover Park and Steilacoom School District student passed away in October of 2022 at 16 from smoking marijuana laced with fentanyl. His grieving mother Maria Petty knew she would never let her son’s death be in vain, and with the help of Washington State Representative Mari Leavitt they created the Lucas Petty Act to raise awareness about fentanyl poisoning.

Opioids represent the largest percentage of overdose deaths in Washington State (68%). Nationally, Washington has the second-highest percentage increase (65%) in fentanyl poisoning deaths over a one-year period. Unfortunately, this is very prevalent among younger Washington residents. In 2023, 190 youth under 24 died from opioid or fentanyl overdoses. From 2020-2022, 342 people under 25 visited a Pierce Country Emergency room for drug poisioning and there were 60 deaths.

The Lucas Petty Act requires all school districts in Washington to provide proper education and resources to middle and high school students about the dangers of opioids and fentanyl. Washington State Governor Jay Inslee signed House Bill 1956: Lucas Petty Act into Law on March 19th stating “Fentanyl is a scourge in the state of Washington. It is the nuclear weapon of opioids that are attacking our young and not so young people, and it is our intent with the bills we’re going to sign today to wrap all of Washingtonians’ arms around these young people and say, ‘we will not let fentanyl get to the lives of these young people.’ That’s why we’re here today.”

Maria Petty Moments Prior to Lucas Petty Act being Signed

By September 1st, 2024, OSPI (Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction) along with the Health Care Authority, Department of Health, Educational Service Districts, and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families will review education prevention materials to provide to students from 7th through 12th grade along with their families. Along with this, agencies will also be required to review the material yearly to ensure the most recent information for further prevention.

The Bill requires implementation of instruction on the dangers of fentanyl and opioids by the 2025-2026 academic school year but Inslee’s senior policy advisor for education stated that she hopes the governors office can be updated by the 2024-2025 school year. All Washington State school districts have been encouraged to implement these changes as soon as they can.

As for Lucas’s mom, Maria, she stated that her work is nowhere near done. Maria has plans to go above and beyond for her son by telling her son’s story at three Tacoma High Schools and has plans to begin visiting Middle Schools in the near future. “He’s gone and he’s never coming back, but my hope and wish is that he’ll be able to save others,” said Petty. Lucas would have been a Senior in High School this year, he attended Idlewild Elementary school, Hudtloff Middle School, and Steilacoom High School. His mother’s determination to advocate and spread awareness will save lives.

View Comments (2)
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Brookelle Barnes
Brookelle Barnes, Editor/Reporter
She/Her, Class of 2024 aspiring school/guidance counselor, 2-year journalist wanting to share deeper meaning(s) on topics throughout my writings and reports.

Comments (2)

All The Ledger Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • T

    Trista OsgoodApr 16, 2024 at 12:15 pm

    Very insightful and well-written article. Wishing for the best

  • A

    Adam MarksApr 10, 2024 at 2:31 pm

    Godspeed Maria