Promises to Keep


Steamboat Springs High School students promote awareness about the consequences of drug and alcohol use during Red Ribbon Week.

Students in the leadership class spent Monday at the middle school to inform the students about drug and alcohol use in the high school.

The middle school students went through three stations during their P.E. or Exploratory hours to help them understand the consequences of drinking and using drugs.

"It's helped me be more responsible," said Emma Simmins, an eighth grader who participated in the activities.

In a hands-on activity, students wore beer goggles to impair their vision as if they were drunk. The students were then asked to walk a straight line and pull a friend riding on a scooter around cones.

"The scooter activity depicts the reality of drinking and driving and the consequences," said Lauren Baumann, a leadership student. "It proves that even if you're not drinking, if you get in the car with someone who is, you put your life in their hands."

Meghan McNamara, an eighth grader, said, "I think it's necessary to see how your vision looks if you're drinking, and why you shouldn't drink and drive."

The students were also given a chance to ask the leadership students about drugs and alcohol in the high school.

"We're here to educate them," said J.J. Simon, a high school student who answered their questions.

Simon explained to the students how to avoid drinking at parties, "A lot of people think peer pressure is what makes people drink and do drugs, but all you have to do is say 'no' right at the beginning, and the upperclassmen will respect that."

Students asked questions about rumors, parties, and designated drivers. "Don't ever get in a car with a drunk driver," Simon said. "Always call parents or friends to get a ride. Don't ever put your life in danger."

"I've decided that I'll be a designated driver," said Simmins. "I don't want to drink but I'll be there to give my friends a ride."

The leadership is also sponsored other activities at the high school in honor of Red Ribbon Week. On Monday students tied red ribbons to the antennas of cars in the parking lot, and on Thursday students were able to sign a pledge to refrain from drug and alcohol use for the month.

On Friday of that week, the students will learn the consequences of drinking and driving from guest speaker Lance Pohlman, a 22-year-old man who killed a girl while driving under the influence of alcohol.

Pohlman was 19 when he was illegally served alcohol while partying in Winter Park. Now a resident of a halfway house in Craig, Pohlman said, while he cannot change what happened to him, by speaking to students now he could prevent future tragedies from happening to Steamboat students.

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