Tests give young students insight into drunkenness


— Middle school students got a unique opportunity to see the world through the eyes of a drunk on Monday.
"It's helped me be more responsible," said Emma Simmins, an eighth-grader who participated in activities in observance of Red Ribbon Week.
In a hands-on activity at the middle school, students wore "beer goggles" to impair their vision as if they were drunk. The students were then asked to walk a straight line and pull a friend riding on a scooter around cones.
Steamboat Springs High School students are promoting awareness about the consequences of drug and alcohol use this week. Students in the high school leadership class spent Monday at the middle school informing younger students about drug and alcohol use in the high school.
The middle school students went through three stations during their physical education or exploratory periods to help promote their understanding of the consequences of drinking and using drugs.
"The scooter activity depicts the reality of drinking and driving and the consequences," said Lauren Baumann, a leadership student. "It proves that even if you're not drinking, if you get in the car with someone who is, you put your life in their hands."
Meghan McNamara, an eighth-grader, said, "I think it's necessary to see how your vision looks if you're drinking, and why you shouldn't drink and drive."
The students also were given a chance to ask the leadership students about drugs and alcohol in the high school.
"We're here to educate them," said J.J. Simon, a high school student who answered their questions.
Simon explained to the students how to avoid drinking at parties. "A lot of people think peer pressure is what makes people drink and do drugs, but all you have to do is say 'no' right at the beginning, and the upperclassmen will respect that."
Students asked questions about rumors, parties, and designated drivers. "Don't ever get in a car with a drunk driver," Simon said. "Always call parents or friends to get a ride. Don't ever put your life in danger.
"I've decided that I'll be a designated driver," said Simmins. "I don't want to drink but I'll be there to give my friends a ride."
The leadership class also is sponsoring other activities at the high school in honor of Red Ribbon Week. On Monday students tied red ribbons to the antennas of cars in the parking lot, and on Thursday at lunch students will be able to sign a pledge to refrain from drug and alcohol use for the month.
On Friday, the students will learn the consequences of drinking and driving from a guest speaker.
"From what I've heard of the speaker, I think it will have a large impact on the students, serving as an example of how one choice can affect your life and others," said Bryn Weaver, a student at the high school.


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