Students Raise Awareness Of Choices, Consequences

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Students Against Destructive Decisions encouraged children and teens to be drug free by sponsoring Red Ribbon Week Oct. 24-28.

"Red ribbons were sent to all the schools in the district for children to wear in support of a drug free lifestyle," said SADD coordinator Abigail Pederson.

Each day had a different clothing theme, from wearing a hat to "put a cap on drugs" to "sea of red day."

And there were games.

Students who ran the Fatal Vision Obstacle Course were given goggles to wear by school resource officer Les Barr. The goggles simulated the impaired vision of a drunk.

Kyle Leonard was first in line.

"We rode scooters down about 20 yards," he said. "Then we had to get off while we were still in these strong goggles, tripping over everything, dribble a ball five times, jump rope five times. We had to try and hit a ball with a baseball bat, and then we had to run all the way back. Then we did a sobriety test with the goggles on where we had to walk the line," Leonard said.

"He fell over when he walked the line," said Grace Springstead.

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The vision impairment goggles Kyle Leonard is wearing make it hard for him to walk. Walking in a straight line is nearly impossible.

"I felt like throwing up when I did it. It wasn't fun."

During "Junkie Jeopardy," substance abuse counselor Patty Sneed asked students questions like, "Is there more nicotine in a cigarette than in chewing tobacco?" Those answering correctly were rewarded with candy and the student who collected the most candy won a $10 gift card.

SADD has only about eight members this year, but they reach out and try to make a difference, especially at the high school.

"We've done seat belt checks this year. SADD members have stood at the entrance to the parking lot and given out Smarties (candy) for those who were wearing their seat belts, and Dum Dums (suckers) for those who weren't," Pederson said.

Learning and leadership opportunities go with the fun, said Pederson. She was a member when she went to PHS.

SADD meets every Wednesday at lunchtime to listen to speakers, plan for community events, and communicate with one another.

The next event for SADD members is the state conference in November.

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