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Students learn to say no to drugs at Northeast Middle School.

Staying Drug-Free is what The National Red Ribbon week is all about, students at Northeast Middle School learned about the dangers of drugs and the consequences that will come if they are caught taking them or become addicted.

“I think the more we get into schools, the more we’re able to drive home the fact that, you know; there are other alternatives to using drugs, you can say no to peer pressure , you can say no to people trying to pull you into doing things that you don’t want to do, and as long as you’re a person promoting individuality, you’re going to be strong in the areas you need to be, to do whatever you want to do in life.”

Attorney Dustin Markham defends juveniles that are convicted for illegal drugs. He says students will be punished if caught with drugs on school grounds.

“Here in Lauderdale County, and I’m sure it’s the same in Meridian Public Schools, they have almost a zero tolerance policy as it relates to drug offenses, so those kids are removed from their current classrooms and are put into an alternative school or are suspended for periods of time, and that’s what we don’t want."

Markham adds that children are not able to learn adequately when they have drug addictions.

“It impairs them substantially, because they lose focus in academics, they lose focus in some of the activities that they once loved to do, they lose focus in their home life, they don’t really care they’re indifferent one way or the other as long as they’re getting the fix or getting high or using drugs.”

Markham also says that he is just thankful that school systems allow students to be informed about drug addiction and what that repercussion can be.

“Being able to diver kids to things that will actually benefit them in a disciplinary way but also in a rehabilitative way, it helps to shape them and understand that they don’t want to be out there, they don’t want to be disciplined for issues that they can control themselves."

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