KGB Assembly, Just Say No
by Joseph Branco
June 16, 2004
I am genuinely concerned about the outcome of next Monday's budget
meeting for the borough. Alaskans for Drug Free Youth is one
program on the proposed chopping block. It worries me that they
would consider this an appropriate budget cutting approach by
gambling with the lives of the youth of Ketchikan. This elimination
would have a powerfully negative impact on our community.
As the ONLY program that offers drug education classes to our
community's youth, the ADFY program is essential. The ADFY program
gives the children in Ketchikan the knowledge they need to make
informed decisions when offered drugs. This is a program that
our community cannot afford to discard. The negative economic
and social impact of eliminating the ADFY program will be far
greater than we can imagine.
Children in Ketchikan are faced with the pressures of drug use
at school, among friends, and many times in the home. The landscape
of modern drug use is ever changing and requires constant attention
from experts who can keep the children informed about the inherent
Alaskans for Drug Free Youth inspires the children of Ketchikan
to chase their dreams and helps them to realize that drugs get
in the way of that dream. ADFY is a truly loved program in our
city with a long and proud history of community service. Drug
education is a life saving element of education focused on the
children of Ketchikan. The children are the future of Ketchikan.
Ask your local teacher if they think ADFY made a difference
this year. Pick your favorite grade-school kid in town and ask
them if they learned anything this year. They will tell you
more than you expect.
MDMA, GHB, Ketamine, OxyContins, Methamphetamines, 2CB, DXM,
etc .The landscape is changing, but the battle continues to inform
and educate our children to face drugs you may have never even
heard of. How do you deal with drug abuse in the home if you
don't learn about it in school? Our teachers are already responsible
for so much in the schools. The incredible amount of drug knowledge
needed to be able to answer every student question is too much
to ask our teachers to include in their curriculum. ADFY has
the knowledge, the passion, and the dedication to prepare the
youth of Ketchikan for the very real pressures they will someday
face. Cutting ADFY would be monumental mistake.
If they choose to send this program to the dump, is the assembly
going to assume the ultimate responsibility? Lives are at risk.
The borough talks about having to make difficult decisions.
We teach these children to make tough choices. Do you think
it is easy for a kid to "Just Say No"? We teach
them how. So, I urge the borough assembly to show the courage
to "Just Say No" to eliminating ADFY from the schools.
Ketchikan, AK - USA
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