Hiding in Plain Sight

“Sometimes the best hiding place is the one that’s in plain sight.”

Ever have one of those “duh” moments? “Why did I not see that before?” For me, it was the little arrow that is next to the fuel pump icon on my car dash. As many (if not most) of you know, the arrow indicates on which side of your car the fuel door is located. For all my years of driving, I had not recognized this indicator, which the auto companies had purposefully placed in a visible location on the dash, to assist the driver. The sign was hiding in plain sight.

Hiding in Plain Sight will be an unscheduled series of posts concerning some of the signs of the drug culture that are all around us and yet we do not recognize. We will also be including “vaping culture” in this series because while of most of our students are too young to smoke, vaping has transformed from a smoking “alternative” to a new vehicle to consume drugs.

With the unfortunate decisions of many states and cities to decriminalize/legalize the personal use of marijuana, the open sale of marijuana paraphernalia and drug culture clothing and accessories has dramatically expanded. The Northern Virginia area is close to the District of Columbia and the State of Maryland, both jurisdictions that have relaxed their laws concerning marijuana. Police in the NOVA/DC/MD area are seeing an increase in drug-related crime. As parents, we need to be more aware than ever that this drug culture is pervasive and right under our noses. The following may help you spot it.


“Kush” is the name of a particular strand of marijuana but has become a street name for marijuana as a whole.


420, 4:20, or 4/20 (pronounced four-twenty) is slang in drug culture for the consumption of marijuana. Folklore ties it to a group of California drug users who would regularly meet at 4:20 in the afternoon.

Expect to see “kush” and “420” on articles of clothing, posters, stickers, cell phone covers, and screensavers, as well as handwritten on backpacks, books, and other places.

















Vaprwear is a line of clothing designed with a rubber tube that the owner can connect to a vape device. The tube looks like the drawstring of a hoodie, or the hydration tube of a CamelBak® or other hydration pack. Individual tubes can be purchased to retrofit an existing sweatshirt or backpack.

If you have any questions or come across examples of drug culture discreetly displayed in plain sight, please feel free to email David Clenance, TCS Director of Security, at dclenance@tcsfairfax.org. Drug culture will continue to pervade our society, and it is best that we know the signs so that we can help protect our families. And as GI Joe used to say, “Knowing is half the battle.”

About the Author

David Clenance is the Director of Safety and Security at TCS. A proud parent of three Trinity graduates and law enforcement officer for 28 years, David enjoys an occasional brush with his degrees in Latin, Greek and Museum Studies. (Yes, Museum Studies – it’s a real degree!)


About Trinity Christian School

Pursuing Excellence for Mind and Heart

K-12 Independent Christian School in Northern Virginia

Located just over 20 miles southwest from Washington, D.C., 10 miles south of Route 66 in Fairfax, and 10 miles west of the Capital Beltway

Educating students to the glory of God by pursuing excellence for mind and heart since 1987



A 2019 National Blue Ribbon School