Elementary Students Learn About Drug Abuse Through Optimist Assembly


(Le Mars) — Elementary students from 4th, 5th, and 6th grades from Le Mars Community and Gehlen Catholic attended an assembly program, Monday afternoon, hosted by the Le Mars Optimist Club. The students witnessed an emotional, and powerful messageĀ  delivered as a skit portrayed by members of the Le Mars Community High School Drama Club as to what consequences can occur when people take drugs. In this instance, the high school students were having a party without adult supervision, when one student tells the others that he decided to partake of some pain reliever pills that originally were prescribed to his mother. The teenage boy overdoses on the prescribed medication and is transported to the hospital where he is in a coma, and then dies as a result of swallowing the
medication that wasn’t prescribed to him. Le Mars Assistant Police Chief Jay King participated in the skit, as well as served as this year’s speaker.
King was asked if he thought the young students understood the message that was being conveyed.

One prop that was used to help better emphasize the point of the skit was a real coffin, indicating the high school student has died as a result of taking the pills. King says students learn best when you can demonstrate it to them.

The former D.A.R.E. officer says he wants the students to know that medication is drugs, and it can have deadly consequences if people use and abuse medication that wasn’t prescribed to them. The slogan on the t-shirt says: “Just Say No to Drugs and Alcohol.” The Le Mars police officer says its important to repeat the Just Say No To Drugs and Alcohol message to the students.

Each of the students were wearing this year’s t-shirt, designed by 10 year old Brianna Bockelman, that portrays an emoji shaking his finger in the negative manner. Bockelman says she thought of creating the emoji shaking his finger based on actions by her father.

Nearly 600 students attended the drug awareness assembly program and received a free t-shirt.