Shannon Holmes from the Shuksan Prevention Team, also an active member of the Whatcom Youth Council, has written this report on her recent trip with the Whatcom Prevention Coalition to Olympia.
Shannon went to Olympia to carry forth the message of youth from the Shuksan Prevention Team regarding substance abuse.
I appreciate that our youth are telling adults what they need to stay safe and healthy and that adults are at least listening. Thank you Shannon for being a community leader and a guest blogger!
Keep checking in! Byron
If you had the choice to help change a life for the better, would you do it? If you were able to keep youth away from alcohol, would you even bother? At Shuksan Middle School students have been doing just that. The Shuksan Prevention Team started last school year with one purpose in mind, to make their school drug free. Their goal was not accomplished, but with half the school signing pledges to stay away from drugs they were off to a good start. This year they are getting closer to their goal with over half of the school already signing pledges in just first semester.
This year, on January 21, 2013, six students from the Shuksan Prevention Team traveled south to our state’s capital, Olympia, and met with our state legislators. This was not just a random trip for fun, but to take part in Prevention Policy Day. After a long car ride starting at 7:30 in the morning they finally arrived and were able to begin their day. After getting a tour of the building they were in and eating lunch, the youth went to have their meetings.
Representative Kristine Lytton met with the Shuksan Prevention Team that day, followed by Representative Vincent Buys and Representative Overstreet and then Senator Doug Ericksen. The two main topics discussed were the marijuana laws and the alcohol laws. While most students at Shuksan are not smoking marijuana or drinking alcohol, it has shown that hard liquor is being stolen more by youth than ever before. The students in the club believe laws around marijuana should be strict enough so youth do not get their hands on it.
This school year expect Shuksan Middle School to have activities run by the team that attempt to stop youth going to dangerous substances to find “fun” that puts their lives on the line.