Fifth- and sixth-graders from Nebo Elementary, like all kids, have decisions to make. Resource Officer Chris Marsh wants to help them make the right ones.
Marsh spoke this week to kids about the importance of staying away from drugs and alcohol and making the right choices in life.
Marsh recently created his own anti-drug program because of funding cuts to the DARE program.
DARE and similar programs were cut several years ago by the state because of tight budgets.
Since then, kids have received information about the dangers of drugs and alcohol from school counselors and teachers.
That’s one of the reasons why Marsh created his four-day program to help kids better understand the risks.
“I was placed in this position this year as an elementary school resource officer and I have developed a four-day program that talks about legal drugs, illegal drugs, bullying and on the fourth day we show a video called ‘Inside Out’ that talks about decision making,” Marsh said.
It interviews a dozen or so inmates about the choices they’ve made in life.
So far, the program has been a success at the three other elementary schools where he has presented it, he said.
“Our plan is to get to all the elementary schools before the semester is out,” said Marsh.
With little budget and few materials to work with, Marsh has found a new way to present the information kids need and keep their attention.
“During today’s talk, we’ll go through a slide show. I’ll show pictures of alcoholic drinks and tobacco and the effects of both on the body,” stated Marsh. “Many kids are shocked when they see a picture of mouth cancer or what a liver looks like after years of drinking.”
Marsh’s goal for the program is that kids learn to think for themselves and make good decisions even when pressured to do otherwise.
He hopes that by showing the side effects of substance abuse he can help them make better lifelong decisions.
“My theme for the whole program is them making choices for them,” he said. “Not to be concerned with the choices their parents are making or friends are making, they’re responsible for their own choices.”