Local officials warn students about dangers of drugs

Thursday, October 24, 2002

Linton-Stockton Junior High School students and teachers walked from school to City Hall Wednesday morning as part of Red Ribbon Week, a national event aimed at heightening awareness of the dangers of drug abuse.

Students and teachers held other anti-drug and anti-smoking promotions at the school Monday and Tuesday. The school and local leaders are doing their part to steer students away from drugs and tobacco ---- not only during Red Ribbon Week, but all year long.

"I'm very proud of you young people, your school, your community here and the fact that all of you have taken the time and effort to promote Red Ribbon and what it's all about," Greene County Sheriff Leon Allen told the students. He also praised the community leaders and teachers for taking the time to promote the Red Ribbon campaign.

Greene Circuit Judge David K. Johnson told the group they know themselves and what they're capable of, better than anyone else ---- and that each one is in control of, and responsible for, his or her own actions.

"There are things that you know about the drug and alcohol situations around you every day that I don't know," Johnson told the teens. "Things like who you can be with, who you can't be with. Things like friends that you have you know may pressure you or want you to do things you shouldn't do ... like what parties you can go to and stay clean, or which parties you can go to that you know there might be the opportunity to get into alcohol and drugs ... things like what older kids are available around town to help you find what you think you want."

Johnson said more importantly, the teens "know things about yourself. You know what you're inclined to do, what you've already done and what you're thinking about doing, more than anybody else."

The bottom line, Johnson noted, is that the teens have to take responsibility for making their own decisions.

"Use your heads," he said. "Make the right choice. Don't get involved in something that will make you unhappy for years, that will give you less chance to be successful, to get your high-school diploma."

Elementary teacher Barbara Kirkman thanked the Linton Police and Fire Departments, mayor Jimmie K. Wright, Fred Markle at Markle Music, Tom Long and Peoples Trust Bank, Allen and Johnson, for taking part in Red Ribbon Week.

Tom Long of Peoples Trust Company bank called those waging war on drugs, our law enforcement officers, "local heroes."

"Red Ribbon Week was very good for the students, to make sure that no one did drugs and it was nice for everyone to come to talk to us," said junior high student Brooke Baize.

Laura Beth Correll, junior high student, noted, "I think it's great the teachers let us have this opportunity to express how we feel against drugs. I think it's great we have our public leaders, our policemen and firemen, support us on this and tell us how they're drug-free. I think it's great that everyone's uniting as one school and one community against drugs."

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