2013-05-16 / Community

Sheriff’s deputy arms students to fight illegal drugs

VIEW Intern
BY KELSEY BLOCK


Deputy Mealissa O’Brien quizzes (from left) Ben Thompson, Michael Erla, Jack Clancy and Matt Carriveau on possible ways to say “no” in risky situations. Right, Mrs. Chumbler’s fifth grade class recites the K.A.D. pledge at the completion of the program. After, each student received a certificate, a bumper sticker, and a T-shirt. Deputy Mealissa O’Brien quizzes (from left) Ben Thompson, Michael Erla, Jack Clancy and Matt Carriveau on possible ways to say “no” in risky situations. Right, Mrs. Chumbler’s fifth grade class recites the K.A.D. pledge at the completion of the program. After, each student received a certificate, a bumper sticker, and a T-shirt. BAD AXE – With the increase in the severity of drug cases in Huron County, the need to inform children how and why to stay away from illegal substances is also on the rise.

At Bad Axe Public Schools, Deputy Mealissa O’Brien is doing just that.

O’Brien finished up the last of this year’s Kids Against Drugs (K.A.D.) presentations with Renee Chumbler’s fifth grade class at Bad Axe Middle School on Thursday, May 9. The K.A.D. program, started in 1991, travels to all Huron County schools to inform middle school students about the dangers of using drugs, peer pressure and ways to stay out of risky situations.

The program is broken up over the course of three days into one hour and fifteen minute sessions in order to give the students a chance to digest the lesson.

“It covers too much information for one day,” O’Brien said. “And it also gives the kids a chance to have more positive encounters with the police.”

The curriculum covers a broad range of topics, including: alcohol, prescription and over-the-counter medications, illegal drugs and self-esteem. O’Brien uses a variety of methods to get her message across, from presenting the kids with hypothetical situations to lecturing to role playing.

“When I ask them to, they’re able to tell me what they learned. The kids retain a lot of the information,”

O’Brien said.

O’Brien’s favorite part of teaching the K.A.D program is interacting with the kids.

“They’re a lot of fun,” she said. She also likes being able to tell kids something to keep them safe. “I like knowing I’ve helped them recognize these dangers,” she added.

O’Brien doesn’t shy away from addressing the rise of drug-related problems in the area. In fact, she places emphasis on recent issues involving methamphetamine and bath salts because she believes it is important to let them know that drugs are a real problem in their own community. O’Brien even includes an encased display of drugs so that the kids have a chance to see what they look like and be informed.

“I’m honest with them,” she said. “I tell them about the stories I’ve heard, and I read to them out of the paper. I’m up front.”

Teachers and school staff have commented on the program’s success.

“Every child gets something out of the presentations,” Karrie Foy, Bad Axe Middle School guidance counselor, said. “Any kind of education is beneficial.”

“I’ve heard positive responses,” O’Brien said, acknowledging the donations and support the program has received from the community.

To donate, contact the Huron County Sheriff’s Department at 989-269-6500.

Return to top

Copyright © 2009-2018 Huron County View, All Rights Reserved