Peer Helpers: Stay off the grass

Published 1:06 am Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Peer Helpers Haley Booker, Charlie Brock and Clorissa Morgan with a bulletin board promoting ‘Stay Off the Grass.’

Peer Helpers Haley Booker, Charlie Brock and Clorissa Morgan with a bulletin board promoting ‘Stay Off the Grass.’

AHS Peer Helpers attended their annual training event in Baldwin County Jan. 6 – 9.

Each year, Peer Helpers meet and train with students from Foley High School on basic skills which include communication, empathy, honesty, assertiveness, confrontation, and problem solving. Additionally, members identify specific topics they want to explore. This year those included teen stress, self-harm and suicide prevention awareness, and marijuana myths.

Peer Helpers worked hand in hand with Foley’s Peer Helpers brainstorming activities for educating each school’s student body. AHS came home with programs to implement for the remaining school year. The first program concerns the hype that surrounds marijuana use.

January was chosen as the month for debunking the myths surrounding marijuana as a medical product and “safe” drug. Students designed and ordered T-shirts proclaiming “Stay Off the Grass” and highlighting various popular myths such as marijuana cures cancer, sickle cell, and glaucoma; marijuana is not addictive; marijuana does not impair driving or other activities; marijuana does not have long-term effects; and marijuana is a natural substance and therefore is not harmful.

Peer Helpers also created a bulletin board warning students “Don’t huff, don’t puff; stay off that stuff!” and listing many of the dangers involved with marijuana use. Additionally, they created signs for lunchroom tables that identify one myth and one fact each week. On Fridays, school announcements include a question concerning marijuana, and one student per grade who is first to correctly answer the question (by coming to the library) is awarded a free break item that day. The “Stay Off the Grass” program will run four weeks.

2016 AHS Peer Helpers are Colton Elmore (president), Haley Booker (vice president), Belle Spurlin (treasurer), AnaSara Kipp (secretary), Caroline Andrews, Jeremy Boyd, Charlie Brock, Jamie Browder, Halle Burkhardt, Taran Carrasco, Katrine Christensen, Heidi Cross, Josh Helms, Amy Hines, Olivia Jones, Elizabeth McCalman, Hannah McCalman, Anabell Bryant, RJ Carrasco, Will Clark, Branyon Clarke, Madi Courson, Rachel Dayton, Aniya Florence, Tyler Garvin, Cooper Gooden, Haley Harper, Grant Holley, JW Jones, Colby Lee, Millie Manring, Colin Marcum, Clorissa Morgan, Megan Mullen, Sarah Piggott, Will Piggott, Baylee Robertson, Lindsey Stephens, Kyle Stewart, Alden Wells, and Callen Woodard.