MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

October 25, 2012

MHS students spread anti-drug word to kids

Message presented through assemblies at elementary schools

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Muskogee High School students have a warning for elementary school kids:

Abusing drugs, alcohol and cigarettes takes kids off the Rougher ROAD to success.

Groups of MHS students are presenting that message at several MPS elementary schools during Red Ribbon Week, a nationwide annual campaign to curb drug abuse. Red Ribbon Week is observed during the last full week of October, although MHS students will spread their messages next week to Grant Foreman and Creek elementary schools.

MHS students said they see themselves as role models to the younger kids — and must model responsible decisions.

“We’re high schoolers, and we’re the next step up for these elementary kids,” said MHS student Faythe Lowrance. “So, we’re telling them it’s not cool to do drugs.”

Faythe said different MHS students are making presentations at each elementary school. The groups will return to the schools several times this year with more skits and games.

“We’re trying to tell them that drinking, smoking, drugs and having sex can take you off the road to your dreams and off the Rougher ROAD,” she said.

The Rougher ROAD program, geared to fostering good character, was created at MHS two years ago. ROAD is short for Respect, Opportunity, Achievement and Determination.

Wednesday’s presentation at Whittier Elementary School included two students talking about the stresses of school. As they spoke, other students holding big boxes came along, telling one of the students that smoking, drinking, drugs or sex can help ease their stress. They handed the boxes, each labeled with one of those activities, to the student. The boxes eventually became a burden to the student, who could not carry them all.

“I learned not to do drugs and to stay on my ROAD,” said sixth-grader Quintevin Cherry.

The presentation also included lots of fun and games, Quintevin said.

Students making the presentations come from various organizations including 2Much2Lose and the Rougher Alliance for Intelligent Decisions (RAID).

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.