Four Loko, the alcoholic energy drink that was recently yanked off shelves by the Federal Drug Administration, has been reappearing in convenience stores.
According to School Resource Officer Nick Glenn, caffeine is no longer advertised as a main ingredient of the drinks and they’ve been reclassified simply as alcoholic beverages.
“The classification has been reconfigured and they’re now being marketed as a ‘better-tasting beer,’” Glenn reported.
On a more positive note, Lorna Benson reported that a letter had been drafted and sent to officials at the University of Tennessee at Martin to make them aware of energy drinks being sold to school-age children at university concession stands. Although the letter never reached the university, The Pacer wrote an article about energy drinks and based on the information in the article, the university decided to no longer offer the energy drinks at concession stands.
Kristi Townes reported that students from Weakley and Obion counties have been selected to be on the National Safety Council for Teen Driving. The Weakley County representative is Calvin Walker of Westview High School.
High schools in the county are continuing their efforts to implement S.A.D.D. programs and thus far, Beth Kempton is the only sponsor. Kempton will be sponsoring the Westview program, but Townes strongly urges other school-system workers to consider sponsoring the other three high schools.
“The kids are definitely interested in getting this program started if we could just get the help,” Judge Tommy Moore added.
Through the Martin Housing Authority, a mock house party is being planned to demonstrate the dangers of kids being left alone without parental presence and choosing to host parties in which drugs are involved. The project is still being planned, but the mock party will take place in April and more information will be provided at local retail outlets. After the mock party, there will be an alcohol-free party at a location to be decided.
Board members decided to sponsor as many team members as possible for the Tennessee Teen Institute with a maximum sponsorship of two teams per county (Weakley and Obion) with six students and one adult per team. The institute will take place June 20-24 at Austin Peay University.
Officer Glenn reported that the 3-on-3 tournament is still in the planning stages and the board is waiting to hear back from Dresden Parks and Recreation as well as deciding on a definite date for the event.
Data has been compiled for the Drug Free Communities (DFC) grant and the deadline to turn in the information is March 18.
After much discussion, board members voted and the decision was unanimous – the Weakley County Alliance for a Safe and Drug-Free Tennessee will no longer be known by that name. It will now be called the Weakley County Prevention Coalition to align with the rest of the state and encompass additional prevention issues such as obesity and eating disorders. This follows along the same logic as S.A.D.D. – now standing for Students Against Destructive Decisions rather than Students Against Drunk Driving.
To close out the February meeting, Benson reported that local schools were choosing to take part in the Great Shakeout, an earthquake drill that will take place nationwide at 10:15 on April 22. Schools are being encouraged to put up posters and place informational manuals in the schools.
Headlining the discussion of the next meeting will be location of the town hall meeting that will take place from 6-8 p.m. on April 26 and the reworking of the facebook page that will now need to include the new name. The meeting will take place at 1:15 on March 22 in the Weakley County Board of Education conference room.
To find out more about S.A.D.D., log on to www.saddtn.org and to find out more information about becoming a sponsor for either Dresden, Gleason or Greenfield high school chapters, call the Weakley County Prevention Coalition office at 731-364-2247.