CHHS teens make commitment

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, August 17, 1999

to lifestyle free of drugs, sex

By AMANDA R. BRADLEY

Staff Writer

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Published Aug. 17, 1999

The Charles Henderson High School library was filled yesterday with about 60 teenagers committing to a lifestyle free of tobacco, drugs, alcohol and sex.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors who were recommended by their teachers and peers were invited to join a Teen Advisory Board. The board members would agree to remain free of tobacco, drugs, alcohol and sex for a year, and would be peer counselors for freshmen.

Students were given a week to complete the contract, but some felt so strongly that they went ahead and signed it right away.

"This will give us a chance to be a good influence on other students," said Holly Graham, a junior at Charles Henderson High School. "They will listen better since it is coming from someone their age, rather than their parents."

Latofia Patterson, a senior at CHHS wants others to know they are not alone.

"Incoming freshmen need to know there are other students who are abstaining," said Patterson. "They need to know that everyone is not doing it."

The students are glad to have the opportunity to share their experience with others.

"A lot of other students don’t know why we don’t do these things," said senior Jennifer Boutwell. "We have convictions and we know what these things can do to a person physically and emotionally."

Patterson shares the same opinion as Boutwell.

"This will give us a chance to go out and tell others before they get started in doing the wrong things," said Patterson.

Graham will gladly share her opinion.

"This will also give us a chance to express our opinions, and being a Christian is a big part of it," said Graham.

Staying drug, alcohol, tobacco free and abstaining from sex is something to be proud of for many students.

"I wanted to join because it will feel good to tell someone that something good came out of not doing these types of things," said Emily Barnes, senior. "I can feel proud."

The subject of "double standards" was brought into the conversation by the students.

"If a guy goes out and does these kinds of things it’s no big deal," said Patterson.

"But if a woman does them she gets a bad reputation," said Daphne Berry, junior. "I think it is pathetic if someone can’t give these things up for a year."

Mark Ezell, a junior, is eager to share his experiences with other students.

"I went to a party last week and I was one of two guys not drinking," said Ezell. "That bothers me since a lot of those guys didn’t used to drink alcohol. I used to drink, but now I don’t. Now, because of signing this contract and joinging the program, I can use my past as an example to help others."