Easthampton coalition educates on destructive decisions - Western Mass News - WGGB/WSHM

Easthampton coalition educates on destructive decisions

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School is out for summer and that means students now have extra time on their hands.

The Easthampton Coalition is joining forces with the high school's Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter to make sure that time is spent wisely.

"It's for building youth leadership and youth activism," Coalition coordinator, Ruth Ever said.  

She explained the foundation for building that leadership and putting the youth on the road to success starts with the parents.

"One of the most important things parents can do that we can often forget is just keep setting those clear expectations for their kids, so they know no matter how old or young they are we have our values and expectations to prevent their drug and alcohol use," Ever said.  

That message was driven in Thursday night during a town hall style meeting at Easthampton High between school officials, the local police department, students and their parents.

Every group came together to help prevent kids from making destructive decisions during a time where they are looking to let loose, and no issue was off topic.

"We're talking about drug use, alcoholism, substance abuse and distracted driving," student Jacob Laprade said.  

He is a member of the school's S.A.D.D. club and said as a teen he realizes some kids may not want to listen to their parents when it comes to these situations. That's where he and his fellow members come in.

Throughout the school year they speak to their peers about making positive decisions hoping it will get them to think twice if faced with pressures this summer.

"We send the messages earlier so they can be more impact for them, so they don't make bad decisions later on," Laprade said.

In conjunction with Thursday's meeting S.A.D.D. will also be holding an Easthampton Concert for a cause on Oct. 4.

Laprade said it is to raise awareness against distracted driving.

A variation of music acts are expected to perform.

Tickets can be purchased at brownbagtickets.com or on June 28, during the town's annual Fourth of July celebration.

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