Some times children know better than adults the dangers of drugs and alcohol.
They know how it tears up families and makes people do things they wouldn’t otherwise do.
One West County fifth grader shared her wisdom with others in her class who were graduating from the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program Tuesday afternoon.
She said the only way to have a good life is to stay drug free. She said you also want to avoid violence because “you can hurt someone.”
“When you are drunk you can hurt someone, and that’s not really you,” she said. “Your body loses control when you drink alcohol. Hurting people doesn’t always have to be physical. People can also hurt you by destroying the things you love or by saying mean things.”
She said alcohol causes a person’s mind to think things that aren’t true.
“My Dad used to have these problems when he would drink,” she said. “I know that alcohol would make my Dad think that my Mom and us didn’t love him.
“One night when he was drinking, he destroyed my television, knocked over our Christmas tree and also busted open our car window with a beer bottle.”
She said when he wasn’t drinking her Dad always wanted everything to be fine.
“People that drink always want to take the easy way out … and my Dad did by killing himself (a year ago),” she said.
She said the D.A.R.E. program has made her realize that people who do drink aren’t really themselves.
“So I will always be drug free and alcohol free because I don’t want to hurt anyone that I love,” she said.
She often thinks about her Dad and the things they would have done together. “So when you grow up and if you decide to drink, remember, it affects more people than yourself,” she said.
A few other students read essays about what they had learned from D.A.R.E.. One student said she is going to save her own life by staying away from bad things like drugs.
Another listed the ways drugs and alcohol harm bodies and wondered why anyone would want to cause themselves these problems on purpose.
D.A.R.E. Instructor Deputy Gary Carver and Principal Todd Watson thanked family members for attending the D.A.R.E. graduation and reminded them that they are the children’s role models and their single biggest influence.
Carver also reminded students that life is 10 percent what happens to them and 90 percent how they react to it.
The winners of the DARE essay contest were Madison Hinson, Madison Sansoucie, Abby Carlyon, and Kayla Saylor.
Teresa Ressel is a reporter for the Daily Journal and can be reached at 573-431-2010, ext. 179 or at email@example.com.