Hi Mrs. Jennex,
My name is Michelle Longley and I teach grade 7 English Language Arts
and Healthy Living at Chester Area Middle School. I recently invited
Amy Graves to come and speak to my grade 7 students about Prescription
Drug Overdose. Some older students at my school had come to me
confidentially, worried about some classmates and older siblings as
they were attending something called a “Pharm” party in our area. I
did not know what a “pharm” party was, I had never heard of this
before. Upon further explanation from them, I learned that it is a
party where everyone brings prescription pills and throws them in a
bowl on the table. Guests of the party proceed to pick one from the
bowl and pop them. Kind of like a Russian roulette of pills. Alcohol
is usually a factor as well at these parties. I was mortified that
students that I know would be doing this, I did not understand it and
I still don’t.
I heard Amy’s story on the radio and another teacher had mentioned
that she would be a great person to come in and talk to my students.
She graciously agreed and came in to do an hour long presentation. Her
information was relevant, informative, and personal as her brother had
died of an overdose last year. I am a firm believer that when children
know better they do better. She educated my kids as to the dangers of
these types of activities in a way that I could not.
I am writing to you to request that Prescription Drugs be added to the
curriculum. I am sure that this problem exists now. We need to get
ahead of it, educate the students at a young age, and protect them
from being harmed. Amy would be an excellent resource in creating a
program to be initiated into schools. We could ignore the problem and
let it get much worse, or we could be proactive. If teachers had a
resource with the relevant and informative information that Amy gave
to me, I am sure that we could stop many more deaths.
Please give this request some further thought.