Dardanelle High School EAST Mercedes Anthony, Jessica Doehring, and Nick George wanted to “save the world” or at least one person from the evils of using drugs, more precisely methamphetamine. Through their work with the 15th Judicial District Drug Coalition, the students developed an EAST project involving the program through the district called StopMethNow (http://StopMethNow.com). A media campaign was created to advertise the StepMethNow contest throughout the community and to create media for the high school, middle school, and elementary students about the consequences of using methamphetamine. The group’s goal was to find a speaker who would be able to share their personal experience with drugs. After researching many options, they learned about David Parnell (a former meth dealer, recovering addict, husband, father of seven, and suicide survivor) through his website called Facing the Dragon: one man’s battle against methamphetamine (www.facingthedragon.org). Parnell, devoting his life traveling to high schools and communities warning people about the dangers of meth, spoke Thursday morning to the student body of Dardanelle High School.
DHS EAST facilitator Sandy Williams, speaking of the project, the Parnell presentation and of the team: “I am overwhelmed by the positive responses from both teachers and students alike from the Parnell presentation. This morning, the day after, people are still discussing attributes of the presentation. In my opinion, if this presentation opens a dialog about discussing the terrible effects of using drugs then the presentation was a huge success. Jessica, Mercedes, and Nick have worked very closely with the Drug Coalition in the development of this project, and they are not stopping now. Their plans are to have a “Mock Lab” presentation in the spring, working with the drama students and will continue the “StopMeth poster of the month” campaign. This project and team portrays the ultimate definition of Doing EAST in our school and in the community.” Mrs. Lawrence, Dardanelle High School principal states that the presentation was a “real success with wonderful responses from teachers and students.” The team expressed their appreciation to the members of the District Coalition, school district administration, and to Mr. Parnell for touching the lives of Dardanelle students.
Cutlines for pictures:
StopMeth Meeting (2): Members of the 15th Judicial District Drug Coalition and DHS EAST students