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Students walk away from drugs

November 24, 1996

By ELLEN LYON

Staff Writer

About 95 of Highland View Academy's 165 high school students walked four miles Sunday, from the Sheetz at Md. 66 and U.S. 40 to the new McDonald's on Dual Highway at Hagerstown Commons, to demonstrate a commitment to a drug-free lifestyle, student association president Justin Fearing said.

Next year Fearing, a 17-year-old senior, said he hopes other local public and private schools will join Highland View Academy in what has been dubbed Project Walk Around the World 2000, which is coordinated by the International Commission for the Prevention of Alcoholism and Drug Dependency, a non-governmental organization of the United Nations.

The international walk will continue every year until the year 2000.

"I think some people today think that the kids don't care about what goes on in the world," Fearing said. "Kids are really fed up with drugs . . . Kids really do care and want to do something about it."

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Melissa Bowen, 14, of Hagerstown, said the walk energized her.

"I feel like doing cartwheels," she said after the four miles.

Some walkers carried signs urging "Just Say No" and "Honk If You Don't Do Drugs," said Bowen, who counted 55 honks along the way.

The walk "let other people know there's other things to do than drugs. It was good exercise," 16-year-old Caren McCall, of Severn, Md., said.

This year's walkers lined up financial sponsors but Fearing said Sunday that he did not know yet how much they had raised for drug education.

Highland View Academy, off Mount Aetna Road, is affiliated with the Seventh-day Adventist Church.

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