Don’t Meth With Us Project Expands In Springfield

Mark Pearce Announcements, Public Image

By Dustin Hodges, KY3 News

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. – More students in Springfield Public Schools are learning about the dangers of methamphetamine. “Don’t Meth With Us” used to be aimed at fifth graders, and now it’s been expanded.

Carver Middle School seventh graders were the first seventh-grade class to see the presentation on Tuesday, similar to the one they saw in fifth grade. But now they’re a little older and a little wiser, and understand the message even more.

“I forgot some of it but whenever it came back it all just came back at once so I knew what they were talking about,” says seventh grader Garren Shelley.

For Shelley, the pictures of people who’ve abused meth are never easy to look at.
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“The pictures scare me because how people could think that bugs are crawling under their arms. That’s creepy to me,” says Shelley.

But they send the message loud and clear about the dangers of meth.

“It’s just consistently getting worse, Missouri is the meth capitol, it’s really where meth started and it just continues to grow. It’s just easy for people to make, it’s cheap, the high lasts a long time and it’s just a very addictive drug,” says John Horton with the Rotary Club of Springfield Southeast, who puts on the presentation for the fifth grade classes.

To help deliver that message, they’re getting some help from Glendale High School Students.

“Seventh graders, they’re just going to get exposed to it in more years, they just need to be reminded and it will help them know what the drugs are,” says Glendale Senior Natalie Crise.

“We figured the seventh graders would really listen to these high school students much more than they would listen to an adult,” says Horton.

So the kids took a day off of hitting the books to do a little review.

“Our philosophy is we needed to have multiple touches of the kids so we decided fifth grade, seventh grade, high school is a good way to go and if we hit them several times with that message hopefully they’ll get it,” says Horton.

That will hopefully teach them a lesson they never have to learn firsthand.

“It’s sort of crazy because if some people make that one mistake they can never go back, usually because they’re always going to be addicted. So it’s a huge decision for someone and if they make the wrong one they’re going to end up messing up their life,” says seventh grader Brynn Tucker.

They incorporated the lesson into a game of Jeopardy that the kids got to play in groups. The kids say they are able to focus more when the lesson is more interactive and they are able to retain more information.