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Anti-drug classes teach making good decisions

May 19, 2009|By TRISH RUDDER

BERKELEY SPRINGS, W.Va. -- Teaching middle school students about the consequences of making bad decisions is part of education.

"And that's the purpose as part of health class," said Gene Brock, principal of Warm Springs Middle School.

Nikki Cowles, Morgan County Partnership prevention educator, and Warm Springs Middle School health teacher Brian Maslowski have taught Too Good for Drugs classes this year to about 600 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders. There are plans to teach the classes for two more years.

The curriculum teaches students that using drugs and alcohol can disrupt future goals, Cowles said.

"It is laying a foundation to make good choices," Cowles said. "They get to make their own decisions."

One seventh-grade class acted out scenarios in which choices were made.

In one, a boy's mother was late picking him up and he chose to get a ride from a friend who had been drinking. Another friend encouraged him to take the ride. An accident occurred, injuring the boy so badly that he would never walk again.

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The students chose who they wanted to blame. Some blamed the mother for being late. After much discussion, Cowles and Maslowski made the students understand that it was wrong for the boy to get in the car and that he should have waited for his mom.

"At some point, you will have to make a decision like this," Cowles said.

"Stand up for the rules," Maslowski said.

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