Westlake headlines peer prevention seminar

Fifty-eight Westlake High School students were part of a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) seminar held Dec. 2 at Quicken Loans Arena to generate peer prevention ideas to take back to their schools.

About 400 SADD members from Northeast Ohio high schools attended. Nine WHS SADD and Leadership Challenge students presented a peer prevention program – pHarmingEffects – that teaches students about the dangers of using prescription medications not prescribed for them. Students used PowerPoint, videos and skits during their presentation, which they previously presented in the high school’s sophomore health classes.

Advisor Kathy McGinty, WHS prevention coordinator, said this was the first time in the event’s history that one high school planned and executed a presentation. WHS SADD worked with SADD National on the presentation. At the event, students also visited exhibits representing prevention programs designed to impact teens.

Following the seminar, the WHS students attended the Cleveland Cavaliers basketball game through tickets donated by the Westlake Police Department.

School resource officer Scott Fortkamp, DARE officer Keenan Cook, school nurse Dorothy Beyer and McGinty accompanied the students to the event.

“We are all very proud of the positive message that our SADD students send to high school students,” McGinty said. “Everyone has worked so hard and the kids have given countless hours of their time outside of the school day to make this event a reality.”
Students who presented the pHarming Effects presentation were Caroline May, Dillon Schneider, Rachel Repasky, Nicole Davies, Jasmine Zoghelb, Michael Beaver, Michelle Appel, Megan Beckwith and Abby Kay.

In November, several SADD and Leadership Challenge members were trained to bring a similar prevention program to middle and elementary school classrooms. Those presentations will occur in the spring. That program, Generation Rx, also can be tailored to the senior citizen audience. McGinty said she will explore ways to carry that message to the Westlake’s senior population beginning in January.

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Volume 6, Issue 25, Posted 9:38 AM, 12.09.2014