Vancleave Residents Ready To Fight Drugs

Vancleave schools get out on Friday. That's why two residents scheduled a town hall meeting for Tuesday night.

They'll alert parents, before summer vacation starts, that drugs are a major problem in Vancleave. And they'll ask for community support to get kids to kick the habit.

Sue Bennett is a pharmacist in Vancleave. Her job is to fill prescriptions. Her mission is to keep illegal drugs away from kids in her Jackson County community, "because our kids are dying right in front of our eyes," she said.

On Tuesday, Bennett and her friend Melanie Sanderson will host the Vancleave town meeting. They'll tell anybody who wants to hear the truth that alcohol and drugs are destroying Jackson County children.

Sanderson has an 11-year-old child who she'd like to keep away from drugs.

"We just want everybody to know, to be aware that there is a problem and let's try to do something about it," Sanderson said.

Jackson County deputy Ken Broadus is very familiar with teenage alcohol abuse.

"It's a serious problem," the deputy said, "a very serious problem."

Broadus met with the Vancleave women to plan for Tuesday's meeting. He told them that just about every weekend, he takes pictures of what he confiscates from teens.

"Any particular night that we go out," Broadus said, "we can find young people with alcohol and probably two out of 10 is going to have a bag of marijuana."

Just in the last year, deputy Broadus has arrested 150 Jackson County kids on alcohol and drug charges.

Those statistics scare people like Melanie Sanderson and Sue Bennett. That's why they're trying to open the eyes of other Vancleave parents, so the community can work together to keep drugs away from Vancleave students.

"Take your blinders off," Sanderson said, "know where your kids are, know where they're going, know who they're with. Just wake up."

Vancleave's town hall meeting to fight drugs is Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Vancleave High School.