Empowering young people to successfully confront the risks and pressures that challenge them throughout their daily lives; this is what SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) has fought to bring to classrooms and schools since 1981. The idea that started from a high school educator and hockey coach in Massachusetts quickly began to spread from state to state, and soon country and country. Now in the year 2019 with over 300,000 students being active participants in chapters has become an international success by teaching kids the dangers of traffic safety, substance abuse, and personal health and safety. And here at Owings Mills High, our SADD chapter is run by Robert Horton and Rochelle Harley.
A SADD advisor for the past four years, Horton envisions to empower students to join the club and spread knowledge on the club’s core mission. “Overall, we’re trying to institute different programs within the school that can help students that are struggling with academic help or struggling with something at home or anything else,” Horton added.
Substance Abuse along with Person Health and Safety are two topics being focused in the club this year. Horton said, “Students are at an age as a teenager where they are old enough to make certain decisions but not old enough to realize sometimes the impact that decision is going to have on their life and future. Sexual activity, for example, some students may have made the choice to engage in those activities and not use protection or not waiting until they’re older, possibly transmitting sexual diseases. Kids can also be easily groped in cigarettes, especially now juuls or e-cigarettes. They may start since their friends are using them or they may start since they think it’s cool. And a lot of those times, those companies will add a lot more nicotine than the average in one cigarette, causing teenagers and a younger audience to become more hooked and extremely addicted.”
Within the club, students are helped and entitled to have an understanding of the consequences of their actions and make responsible decisions as a whole. Abbey Campbell, Principal of Owings Mills High School, has even stated SADD has a very positive outcome in joining kids together and promoting different events/programs into the school to help students to make important decisions. OMHS’s SADD is a registered SADD chapter as well.
“My hope is that students learn and understand there are consequences to decisions and actions that they make, which follows through with them in the real world when they’re out there as adults and understand empathy. And hopefully, they understand how their actions can affect other people,” Horton said
To become a member of SADD or having any interest to learn more, visit Horton in-room 303, or visit sadd.org or md.sadd.org