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Safe students at Leesville

April 21-23 LRHS Student Services hosted “Safe Student Week.” Three days where all students could stop by the Student Services booth and tables in the cafeteria and learn about safe driving, social media use and healthy decisions.

Tuesday students took the “It Can Wait” pledge against texting and driving. The pledge is officially sponsored by AT&T and  encourages drivers to make a commitment to never text and drive while holding themselves accountable to a loved one. Students could also try the texting and driving simulator, which showed them just how difficult it is to send a text or take a phone call while driving safely.

On Wednesday, students learned what it means to be a responsible digital citizen. They were provided with materials and information on how to protect their identities and integrity online.

Dr. Huber, Student Assistance Program Counselor and organizer of Safe Student Week, said, “The goal on Wednesday, with safe social media use was to show students how to protect themselves online, but also how to portray themselves in a positive light online…to make them aware that colleges and future employers have access to everything they post, so they should make sure it reflects well on their character.”

The last day of safe student week, Thursday, concluded with information on substance abuse prevention, and making general safe and healthy decisions for your mind and body. Materials included information on Above the Influence, a program that includes broad messaging to focus on substances most abused by teens, and delivers both prevention messaging at the national level and more targeted efforts at the local community level.

This year, according to Dr. Huber, information on e-cigs was provided, as the use of electronic cigarettes by teens has tripled in the last year. Dr. Huber felt it was important for students to know how dangerous they can actually be, despite myths that e-cigs are “better for you” than regular cigarettes or even harmless.

The program ended with students writing their “anti-drug” on slips of paper that now hangs in the hallway of student services. Many students wrote names of family or friends, sports, or activities that help them stay above the influence.

In contrast to last year, which was more centered around mental health and student abuse, this year was all about our individual decisions, and how we can control many potentially dangerous situations by simply putting the phone down, closing the app or just saying “no.”

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