Making good choices

Monday, October 25, 2004

Wearing crazy outfits or silly hats to school isn't likely to prevent children from using illegal drugs, but those activities could get their attention long enough for them to hear strong messages against substance abuse.

Throughout the year, area schools plan activities that involve teaching children about the dangers of illegal drugs and substance abuse.

This year, Cape Girardeau schools are trying to emphasize that good decisions and healthy lifestyles are two of the best ways to combat drug abuse.

The number of serious drug-related offenses has more than doubled in the past two years in the Cape Girardeau School District, according to discipline incident reports filed with the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. But school officials say that drug-related violations make up only a small percentage of their discipline problems.

Decreasing drug-related incidents at school comes through early education programs for students, officials say. That's why Cape Girardeau schools provided special programs about drug abuse and its affect on health last week as part of its Red Ribbon Week celebration. The goal is to teach children at an early age how to make good choices.

It's commendable that educators are emphasizing good lifestyle choices along with lessons in reading, writing and arithmetic.

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