Kids warned about drugs

Fayetteville-Perry students got a first hand account of how drug abuse can affect their lives on February 28.
All students in the junior/senior high school attended a “3D” assembly, with the three D’s being drugs, danger and death.
A number of speakers shared their experiences with the students, including Brown County Probate/Juvenile Judge Danny Bubp, who organized the event, Brown County Sheriff Gordon Ellis and Brown County Drug and Major Crimes Task Force Commander John Burke.
Another speaker had a huge impact on the students.  She is a 2015 high school graduate who said her life changed forever when she was pulled over with three ounces of marijuana in her car.
As part of her sentence, she is required to speak to each high school in the county about her experience.  The Brown County Press is withholding her identity to prevent any negative consequences to her from her effort to help local students.
“Before my high school career was over, I had tried basically every drug besides heroin and meth,” she told the students as they listened closely.
“We were smoking weed all the time.  We would get up early when we could barely get out of bed just to smoke weed before school.”
That all changed when she was pulled over for a traffic stop and the arresting officer smelled marijuana in the car.
“I’m pulled over with three ounces of weed, questioned for a little bit and then put in a cell.  My charge was a felony,” she said.
She was in jail for two days before getting out.
“In that moment when I was in jail I realized that this is over.  This needs to stop here.  I’m about to ruin my life because of this and I know for a fact that it’s not worth it,” she said.
“I realized that I had dug myself into a hole so deep that I could no longer do what I wanted to do for myself.”
One of those consequences came to life when she visited a Navy recruiter and was told that due to the nature of her crime, she was ineligible to serve.
“That devastated me.  I dont want you guys to ever be sitting in a chair and have someone look you in the eye and tell you that you cannot do something.  It is the worst feeling that I’ve ever felt.”
After the assembly in a private interview, the speaker was asked how it felt to think that she may have gotten through to someone who might change their behavior because of her words.
She began to cry after hearing the question and took a moment to compose herself.  As tears rolled slowly down her face she replied, “It makes me feel like it was what I was put here to do.  They can watch my life like a movie and get to the end and say ‘You know, she may be right.’”
She then reflected back on her high school days just two years ago.
“If I had been in the audience and heard what I said today, I would be second-guessing my choices.  Just leading them to that option of truth and being self-aware and taking care of yourself hopefully is enough for some of them.  To think that I had a hand in helping someone be a more productive member of society, that is the most rewarding thing anybody in this world could possibly ever have.”
Ellis also spoke about the value of hearing straight talk at a young age about drug abuse.
“Every time we can deter through education, it’s a win for the individual and it’s a win for society.  It’s a whole lot better not to get involved with drugs and then introduced to the criminal justice system,” Ellis said.
“They are that point in their lives where they are faced with some important decisions.  This is a prime opportunity to talk about the realities of drug abuse and ultimately where it leads you.”