West St. John students take a stand

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, March 10, 1999

By STACEY PLAISANCE / L’Observateur / March 10, 1999

EDGARD – West St. John High School students are taking a stand againstdestructive decisions and committing themselves to education, safety and positive living.

Sixteen students were initiated into the school’s Students Against Destructive Decisions Club Monday during an induction ceremony held in the WSJHS Auditorium. The event was attended by students and staff.Inducted students made a commitment to reject destructive behaviors such as drug and alcohol use, violence, sex and teen pregnancy. They willtravel to Alexandria in April to attend a districtwide SADD convention for additional motivation and direction in their efforts to make a positive difference in their communities.

The SADD Club is in its second year at WSJHS, having been founded last year by Thyma Dumas, the SADD Club sponsor, and Warren Pierre and Charmaine Roybiskie, who serve as assistant sponsors.

Students selected to join SADD have the opportunity to participate in numerous proactive activities throughout the year and serve as role models for their peers.

“Not just anyone can become a member of SADD,” Dumas said. “Space islimited, and the selection process is tough. These are very specialstudents.”Guest speaker at Monday’s induction ceremony was 1990 WSJHS Valedictorian Janel Bailey, who graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1996 from Xavier University in New Orleans.

Bailey is a member of the American Pharmaceutical Association and the American Diabetes Association and was a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha sorority during her collegiate years.

In her speech to the present generation of WSJHS students, Bailey recalled the lives of their ancestors and other generations past.

“Our ancestors would love to be where you are today, to be in school learning to read and write,” Bailey said. “Take advantage of opportunitieshere, whether or not you plan on going to college.”Bailey said it is important to respect and follow the examples being set by the SADD Club in order to have a healthy society. Taking a stand againstdestructive behavior such as drugs and violence will help students avoid making mistakes that land people in prison or without hope, she said.

“Consider the consequences of bad choices, because one bad choice is all it takes to ruin your life,” Bailey said. She made references to popularentertainers and modern movies and music to help the students understand the damage that just one bad choice can do.

Entertainment during the induction ceremony included performances by the WSJHS Choir, the school band, soloist Kita Harry and sisters Yoshi and Earlean Johnson. Yoshi is a member of the SADD Club and was initiatedMonday.

Other SADD initiates who made presentations during the ceremony included Tekleanna Nicholas, Malana Joseph, Gary Watson, Dehaven Duronslet and Nija Bethancourt.

The ceremony closed with the official SADD Club stomp act.

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