When Sgt. Tom Culbert, Mohonasen High School's resource officer, won a $1,000 national prize from Allstate Insurance for leading a mock-DWI car crash program last spring, he decided to put the prize money into a fund that would help start a local chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD).
Now, only a few months into the club's first year, the chapter has more than 25 active members.
I'm excited about the membership, said Culbert, a former DARE teacher. "It's a nice group of motivated kids."
The group hosted a dance on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, handing out ribbons provided by a local Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) chapter to all ticket-holders. The ribbons served as a pledge that the students wouldn't drink and drive. This week, the club continues to raise awareness about the dangers of bad decision-making with two programs that attempt to prevent students from doing something they regret over their upcoming holiday break.
At an after-school chapter meeting on Friday, Dec. 14, students taped peppermint candies to slim sheets of green paper that bore little reminders like, "You don't need drugs or alcohol to have holiday cheer," and were passed out in homerooms this week.
The SADD club will also run its "Chain of Life" event this week. According to Culbert, students will pay 25 cents each to write their names on a construction paper "link." Each grade will compete to see who has the most participation, and the winner will get half of the money raised placed into their class fund. The other half of the money will go into the SADD budget. At the end of the program, all the links will be connected to exhibit solidarity.
"One bad decision by a classmate breaks the chain," said co-president of SADD Skylar Aviza. "And, if you think about it, it really would if something happened to someone here at Mohonasen."