Letter to the Editor: May 22, 2014

Dear Schreiber Times,

Thank you for recognizing our anti-drug campaign conducted on April 7 when over 1300 plastic containers filled with anti-drug slogans were distributed to second period teachers.

We are saddened that your news article only printed responses from students who held negative thoughts and comments about the project.  In an age when celebrities like Cory Monteith, Whitney Houston, Amy Winehouse, Heath Ledger, and  Philip Seymour Hoffman died too soon, legitimate reporting MUST highlight both sides of this serious topic.  We welcome feedback on our projects, and when asked about the activity, freshman Jaime Alvarez responded, “I liked the idea of the egg and the message that said you don’t know what to expect when you do drugs.”

While no project can positively impact on EVERY student, our mission is essential to keep students aware about the dangers of substance abuse.  The egg campaign was supposed to be a fun, campy activity to get our peers to try to think about how drug use destroys not only the user, but the user’s family and friends.

Ms. Janine Kalinowski, health teacher speaking for the health department, commented on our project:“The health department applauds SADD’s efforts to remind our student body the serious and potential danger(s) of drug use.  SADD’s “pill activity,” displayed a much larger, important message.”

The Long Island Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence reports that every nineteen minutes there is a drug overdose and that last year alone there were 370 drug overdoses that resulted in death.

The message of abstinence and the importance of staying safe cannot be overly-encouraged to our young adults. Assistant Principal Mr. David Miller was also proud of SADD’s efforts.  He said, “I applaud SADD for its efforts; I think that any program, especially a student generated program designed to educate students about drug use and the dangers of drug use is an excellent thing.  I think that all of these types of activities slowly over time have an impact and the more that we can impress upon kids the problems and evils of drug use the better off we are.”

Other school-wide events also have mixed reviews, yet the reporter chose to highlight only quotes from uninformed students.

One student quoted in your article even went as far as saying, “Anti-drug campaigns should realize that by now, people have decided whether or not they should do drugs.”

This statement is completely ludicrous! We need to keep Anti-Drug messages alive to try to stop this growing problem.

There is no denying that there is a drug problem in our school and our town.  Mr. Miller said, “As far as drug problems in our school I think that Schreiber is a microcosm of society.  I think that drugs are a problem nationally, whether it be marijuana, prescription drug use, or even alcohol abuse or other hard drugs or narcotics.  It’s a problem in our country and there are students in our school that have a problem.”

This is why our school holds mandatory meetings before students can attend the prom.

When asked about what was discussed at the prom meeting, Junior Lya Rothman said, “The essence of the meeting is don’t show up drunk or high.”

Nothing will quench our determination to obliterate drug use in our school. It is our ongoing mission to support the community’s efforts to stop its young people from making poor decisions about drugs and alcohol.

Finally, if we made just one child stop and think, then it was worth it.

 

 

 

Sincerely,

 

Lauren Giliof