High school students send out an SOS

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LAWRENCEBURG, Ky. (WKYT) - We are often asked, "why don't you have more stories about teenagers doing good?" This is the story of teenagers at one high school taking a stand, and doing something about the drug epidemic.

What they're doing could be saving lives, and it starts at a young age.

Anderson County High School could be any school in Kentucky, and Lawrenceburg could be any small town.

The interim chief of police in Lawrenceburg, Mike Schell says, "Our biggest issues right now, where we're losing people is, the meth and the heroin."

He's talking about the adults in the community, but high school students are not immune to the drug epidemic.
The principal of Anderson County High School, Chris Glass says, "In my time as an administrator, and as a teacher at Anderson County, it's increased greatly...in the 16-years I've been in education."

It's a raw, shocking fact that four people a day, on average, overdose and die in this state. A startling number. I've asked five Anderson County High "Bearcats" to join me in the school auditorium for a discussion.

Jael Cobb, a junior at Anderson County High, says "that's four lives that are being wasted, that we're losing to this endless fight that's been going on for way too long."

Kinsey Roberts, a senior at the high school, says "I mean where I've had a family member go thru this. It was hard on her and us as a family."

Sitting nearby in the school auditorium, Payton Serafini says, "If we save one life, all of our work is totally worth it." Landon Peach and Heidi Garcia have also joined us for this conversation.

Heidi says, "For what we're doing and traveling to different schools, I think we really make a difference..."

These five Anderson County High School "Bearcats" are the leaders of Saving Our Students, or SOS. It's an anti-drug, school club that reaches out to fellow students.

Heidi says, "I think it's easier for kids to listen to someone who's their age, which I feel is another reason we are a part of this club, because an adult can tell you don't do this, don't do that, but you just go "okay", you know you really don't listen..."

In the last two years they've helped produce a school video promoting drug free living, testified before a legislative committee in Frankfort, brought in speakers, and set up a demonstration for parents, showing a teenager's bedroom containing objects that look innocent, but could actually be used for drugs.

SOS founder Donna Crain Drury says, "I remember the hurt."
She helped start SOS. She has strong memories of being bullied as a child, and says bullies, and those being bullied, have a higher risk of abusing drugs.

Donna says, "If they're bullied, they suffer from low self-esteem, painful hurt, emotional problems, and they will resort or turn to drugs, to ease that pain, or to escape it."

The SOS students plan to take their anti-drug message to the elementary schools this year in Anderson County.

Kinsey believes, "It's never too early to start it. There's problems in every age so if we start younger, maybe it will decrease and it'll become more educated about the issues, and drugs."

Heidi adds, "And it's that kind of progression that makes us feel better, and makes us want to do what we're doing."

The SOS club is funded through various grants and donations.

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