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September 23, 2012

Teens to teach kids dangers of drugs

Group of students to do skits, talk to elementary school children

Troy Stoutermire remembers what it was like to come up in elementary school and face drug pressure.

He also remembers what it was like to attend assemblies and watch older students tell him how to stay away from drugs.

“Now I’m getting a chance to do the same thing for other kids,” said Stoutermire, 16. “It’s a great feeling.”

Stoutermire is part of a group of 60 students who will teach Muskogee elementary students about the dangers of drugs during Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 20-28.

Forty-six students met in the First Baptist Church auditorium Friday to train for next month’s activities.

“They’ll be doing skits and talking to the kids, getting them involved,” said Madison Tomlinson, Muskogee High School director of character development.

Red Ribbon Week began in the ’80s after an undercover Drug Enforcement Agency officer was killed while working against the Mexican drug cartel.

“We have 60 to 70 kids that will take part in the programs,” Tomlinson said. “They’ll break into smaller team units and go to all the elementary schools.”

Allan Johnson, who said he grew up in Muskogee, but now lives in Oklahoma City, is a leadership trainer who’s working with Muskogee Public Schools for the second year.

“Last year was the first year I came here and worked with this program here in Muskogee,” Johnson said. “My goal is to equip these students to be able to speak at the assembles with kids, and to equip them to help the younger kids learn from them.”

Ashlee Fletcher, 16, said her younger brother is in elementary school, so she’s excited to be able to guide him and his friends.

“I want them to grow up to be good,” Fletcher said. “It feels great to be able to be a good, positive influence to them.”

Reach Dylan Goforth at (918) 684-2903 or  dgoforth@muskogeephoenix .com.

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