Students Feel Drunk To Learn Sobering Lesson - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

04/13/05

Students Feel Drunk To Learn Sobering Lesson

Robby Higgs has a warning for students at St. Martin Middle School.

Higgs asked them "What did we say was the number one concern of an alcohol company"?

The class responded "Money"!

Higgs told them to watch out for beer and alcohol ads that try to tempt children.

"Because they use sex appeal and it does work, and that should insult you as a gentleman."

Higgs is a specialist for "Project Northland," a program that targets sixth, seventh and eighth graders, like Frederick Hawkins.

"I've had friends who's family members have died in car wrecks and crashes, and many bad experiences to their families," Hawkins said.

Robby Higgs said "15% of kids age 13 to 15 are drinking alcohol on a regular basis, and that is a problem. To me, if there are two kids out of 100 drinking alcohol, there's a problem and we want to do all we can to help those children".

The lessons took on a realistic twist when the students put on goggles to experience what it's really like to feel drunk.

Brittany Cooley said "I felt sick to my stomach wearing the goggles. You can't see straight. You're like dizzy. You feel all messed up".

Shane Harris said "I just felt like I wanted to throw up, and I couldn't see anything".

The students couldn't help but laugh at their awkward experiences. But it's making them think twice about picking up a drink.

Frederick said "I almost fell. It's like I could have hurt somebody if I had been drunk. I could have seriously hurt myself or one of my close friends".

Higgs said "The leading cause of death for that age group is alcohol-related injuries. So I wanted them to stop and think before they fool with alcohol or with somebody who had been drinking alcohol".

Project Northland began three years ago and this could be its final year. That's because a $300,000 state grant that funds the program runs out in September.

By: Trang Pham-Bui

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