(MITCHELL) – On Thursday afternoon, Mitchell Middle School students learned about the consequences of drug abuse and the legal issues surrounding illegal drugs.
Lawrence County Prosecutor Sam Arp was not able to get to all of the schools this week as a part of “Red Ribbon Week” so he decided to visit Mitchell Middle School and send out the message that just saying no may not work. However, by saying yes there are consequences to that decision.
Arp says it’s too early to give this message to elementary school students, but maybe too late for high schoolers. Therefore, Arp figured middle school students needed to hear this message.
Prosecutor Sam Arp was joined by Indiana State Police Public Information Officer Sgt. Curt Durnil, Mitchell Police Officers, Indiana Conservation Officers, and the Mitchell School Resource Officer to help with the program.
ISP Sgt. Durnil asked students questions testing their knowledge on illegal drug use. He then informed them about the physical dangers of using meth, prescription drugs, nicotine, alcohol, and marijuana.
Durnil noted that a single use of some of these substances can bring immediate mental and physical harm. He then addressed some of the legal consequences if caught with these drugs.
“We are concerned for your safety, knowing you are tomorrow’s mothers, fathers, prosecutors, law enforcement. We want to give you information so you can make good decisions now,” Sgt. Durnil added. “Right here in Mitchell Indiana, we are experiencing a drug issue. And it is important that we give you the facts.”
After the presentation, there was a short question and answer period. A few of the students wanted to know a little more about what they learned.
Several questions revolved around on how teachers or staff can intervene for a child if there is drug use at home and how drug use is already affecting them.
“We have teachers, principals, counselors, and most of all of them report any drug activity to the local law enforcement,” Officer Durnil replied.
Following the presentation inside the auditorium of Mitchell High School, students were divided into three groups. The groups then watched a K-9 demonstration, visited the Indiana State Police Bearcat and learned about SWAT operations, and viewed Scuba equipment for diving.