Elementary Students Learn About the Dangers of Meth
April 8, 2003 at 10:46 PM CDT - Updated June 17 at 7:20 AM
Elementary Students Learn About the Dangers of Meth By: Susan Stiegman
(Jackson, MO)--A surprising new battleground in the ongoing war on methamphetamine...the classroom.
A criminal justice professor from Southeast Missouri State is teaching kids in Jackson about the dangers of meth. “If you take it, you’ll get addicted to it and you could die,” says Linda Ferrell.
Clayton Baker and about two dozen of his classmates are learning about the chaotic efficts of methamphatamene. While these students are just a fraction of Heartland youngsters, they represent the innocence and curiosity of them all.
So why teach them about a dangerous drug at such a young age? Instructor Linda Ferrell says waiting until high school, means waiting too long. "Research shows that for prevention to work you have to start at a young age.We found kids really care about what they look like. They care about their bodies, and they don’t want to do anything to damage that," says Ferrell
Teachers say schools are nurturing places, and that makes them ideal environments for such scary topics. The program encourages students to turn to their teachers and parents with concerns and questions about meth.
And students with SEMO's Department of Criminal Justice and Sociology have told the third graders that they're there for them too. So far, instructors say the MEDFEL program has been well-received by just about everybody. “Last week, we walked out of here, and the kids were overwhelmingly saying, ‘I’m never going to use meth.’And that makes us feel really good,” says Ferrell
Orchard Elementary isn't the only school using the "MEDFELS" program. Several states are currently working with educators and drug enforcement agencies to develop similar classes.