Uncover the Truth Campaign

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We know from research that students are more likely to engage in a behavior if they believe it is typical of and accepted by their peers. Students (and adults!!) often over-perceive the prevalence of risky decisions by their peers. This is a risk factor for engaging in those risky decisions. We set out to change that!

We use the Positive Community Norms (PCN) framework as one of our strategies to reduce youth substance use. The framework is founded on the “Science of the Positive” which focuses on how to study, measure, and grow the positive and is based on the core assumption that the positive is real and worth growing in our communities.

PCN is based on decades of social norms research which holds that people tend to behave in a way they believe is most typical of and accepted by their peers.  If people believe that risky behaviors are typical, some individuals are more likely to engage in those behaviors for several reasons:

  • people may be more likely to take part in a high-risk activity if they misperceive it as the norm,
  • those who regularly engage in high-risk activities often do so with others and therefore believe 'everyone' does it, and
  • if a bystander believes the risky behavior is the norm, they may fear social disapproval for intervening


We launched Uncover the Truth in the Fall of 2014.  This campaign focuses on highlighting that most Wayzata High School students make healthy choices and do not drink alcohol and/or use marijuana regularly.

Based on the 2016 Minnesota Student Survey, we know that:

  • 80% of WHS students don't drink alcohol in a typical month
  • 79% of WHS students think it's harmful to drink alcohol
  • 86% of WHS students don't use marijuana in a typical month

And based on the 2016 Wayzata Student Survey of 11th graders, we know that:

  • 90% of WHS students would support a friend who chooses not to use alcohol and/or marijuana
  • 77% of WHS students would rather hang out with a friend when he or she is not drinking alcohol and/or using marijuana

The Bear Series (2015-2016) captured attention of students at Wayzata High School and gained momentum for the campaign that we couldn't have envisioned! We are excited to announce that the bear will be making a comeback in the Fall of 2017.


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