|Plans being finalized for town hall meeting |
|Posted: Friday, April 20, 2012 2:13 pm |
Plans for an informative town hall meeting on drug abuse trends in schools were in the works at a meeting of the Weakley County Prevention Coalition held Tuesday in Dresden.
Weakley County Prevention Coalition Director Nick Moon
The town hall meeting is scheduled for April 30 from 6-7:30 p.m. at the Boling University Center at UT Martin. It will be an opportunity for parents and students attending to hear current information on drug and alcohol abuse and to ask questions of the coalition’s various members in education and law enforcement.
“The coalition has basically finalized the speakers for the town hall meeting,” said program coordinator Nick Moon. Nationally-recognized motivational speaker David Parnell will be the keynote speaker of the evening.
Mike Hoffman, Behavioral Health director at Baptist Memorial Hospital in Union City, will speak about the effects of underage drinking.
Finally, Weakley County Superintendent Randy Frazier will speak about what is going on in the schools at this time.
In other business, coalition members heard reports from the sponsors of Students Creating Change, student-led organizations against drug abuse with 12 members at Westview High School and about 10 at Dresden High School.
Members at Dresden High School created a bulletin board display, titled “Tobacco Industry’s Big Lie,” and began work on a “memory wall” featuring celebrities who had lost their lives to tobacco use, according to sponsor Diane Lillegard.
Beth Kempton, sponsor at Westview High School, said her members of Students Creating Change joined with HOSA members to set up a booth outside the school gymnasium during activities period, where they distributed literature and free pencils and offered door prizes. They also set up a screen in the hallway to show an anti-tobacco film and tri-fold informative displays.
Moon said he planned to bring Students Creating Change members to the upcoming town hall to help greet attendees at the door and to show them to the specific rooms.
The coalition also discussed sending some members of Students Creating Change to the Tennessee Teen Institute, a five-day youth conference in June that helps participants “develop action plans to implement prevention projects and programs in their schools and communities,” according to the program’s website.
Some coalition members attended a conference on prescription drug addiction April 10 in Jackson.
“They looked at the medical aspects to prevention and treatment, and also how prescribers should closely monitor prescriptions and things to look for, like doctor-shopping and things like that,” said Moon. “So we were able to bring back some good information.”
The coalition also discussed Moon’s upcoming resignation as program coordinator. Coalition member Lorna Benson conducted interviews for Moon’s replacement April 9 and called the applicant pool “excellent candidates.”
Benson said a second round of interviews will be required. Moon said he “had no set date right now” for officially taking his leave, citing his flexibility and his continuing work on preparing training materials on the organizations, websites and grants that the new program coordinator would be working with.
The coalition praised Moon for his work as program coordinator. “You’ve done a great job. We really appreciate your efforts, you ideas, your enthusiasm, initiative, creativity,” said Coalition chairman Judge Tommy Moore.
The Weakley County Prevention Coalition plans to meet again at 1:15 p.m. June 26 at the Weakley County Board of Education meeting room in Dresden, when they hope to be discussing the new direction of its next program coordinator.