MONARCH — While most think of law enforcement in terms of solving crimes and arresting criminals law enforcement personnel also work to prevent crime and that’s why members of the Union County Sheriff’s Office recently visited Monarch Elementary School.
“Each school year, Monarch Elementary students are provided guidance lessons enhancing awareness of the hazards of tobacco, alcohol and drugs as well as skills for saying “NO” to drugs, ” a statement released by the school on Thursday, Oct. 26 stated. “The students also sign a pledge to ‘Always Be Drug Free.’“
Monarch Elementary’s efforts to help its students avoid the dangers of addiction also involve Red Ribbon Week. Held each year in October, Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign.
The press release states that Red Ribbon Week at Monarch Elementary is part of the celebration of the students pledging to be drug free.
While the issue addressed by the pledge and Red Ribbon Week is a serious one, the celebration itself is a time of fun for the students who the press release states dress each day “in fun attire that makes a statement to honor their commitment to remain drug free.”
To assist the school in its efforts to keep students away from substance abuse and, in the process, prevent crimes associated with it, Union County Sheriff David Taylor, Detective Wendy Hart, and Deputy Sheriff Hunter Davis of the K-9 Division of the Sheriff’s Office and his dog “Chuckie” visited the school. Taylor, Hart, Davis, and Chuckie did a presentation about staying away from drugs for the school’s 5th grade students.
At the end of the presentation, the press release states that “every student received a red ‘Drug Free in Union County’ bracelet and all are wearing them with great pride.“
Yes, they should wear them with great pride, but, more importantly, the students should also take to heart the message of Red Ribbon Week, the presentation by the members of the Sheriff’s Office, and the pledge they made to remain drug free and do just that. Substance abuse is a terrible thing that destroys far too many lives in our society and the best way to fight it is not after someone has become enslaved to it, but before they are.
Benjamin Franklin said that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” and nowhere is that more true than in the case of substance abuse. By educating children about the dangers of substance abuse and the importance of avoiding it, our schools and law enforcement agencies are literally saving lives and, in the process, fighting crime before it happens. When they are successful, the blessings, both to the child they are educating and to society bring nothing but joy, hope, and happiness. If they fail, however, the results can be devastating and even fatal.
So lets all join with our schools and law enforcement agencies and help our children stay away from the curse of substance abuse and the crime that comes with it and enable them to live their lives to the fullest and realize their potential as the future of our community.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090.