POINT PLEASANT — Point Pleasant Junior/Senior High School (PPJ/SHS) recently started a Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) chapter to battle against underage drinking and other destructive behaviors.
SADD is a peer leadership organization dedicated to preventing destructive decisions, particularly underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, and teen violence and suicide. Student Josie Hill and faculty advisor, Dr. Richard Sargent, began talking about establishing a SADD chapter last year, and this fall announced the formation and invited other students.
“Our desire was to do something to positively impact the student body. If we can help students make positive decisions instead of destructive ones, we can make a positive difference in their lives,” said Sargent. “Students are encouraged to join. Being part of the group may encourage members to make good decisions and will provide a platform for encouraging others to do so as well.”
A total of eleven students came to the initial meeting which was held on Sept. 6.
“Teens sometimes make poor choices when it comes to drugs and alcohol, without realizing the harmful consequences,” said Kate Roush, newly-elected president of the PPJ/SHS SADD chapter. “I’m hoping our SADD chapter will be a positive influence on our school and community. We’ll be participating in campaigns and activities throughout the school year to spread our message.”
The SADD students are hoping to find more classmates to join them in their efforts. The new group is also exploring ways to get support and funding from the community.
Sargent shared during the last week of this month the SADD members will be highlighting Red Ribbon Week.
“We will be participating in an assembly on teen violence, including the consequences of bullying, and encouraging students to wear red ribbons (which we will make available) to show their stand against illegal drugs and bullying. We will be participating in the Halloween Block Party handing out treats, along with red ribbons and stickers encouraging a pledge to be drug free. These are the kinds of things we will be doing throughout the year,” said Sargent.
Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981 in Wayland, Massachusetts, SADD has grown to become the nation’s premier peer-led youth education and prevention organization, with thousands of chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges. In 1997, in response to requests from SADD students themselves, SADD expanded its mission and now sponsors chapters called Students Against Destructive Decisions.
More information about SADD is available at www.sadd.org.
Erin Perkins contributed to this article.