Representing Hurricane High's 26-7 Club are (l to r) Sponsor Kelli Allen, Club President Lila Mangus. Vice-President Katie Cook, and Co-Sponsor Amber Lafferty.
Hurricane students seize anti-drug initiative

November 2, 2010

With a growing drug problem in the community, a group of students at Hurricane High School has seized the initiative to discourage use of mind-altering substances. It started at St. Albans High School when two students were found in a car in the parking lot dead from drug overdoses. In the after shock of the tragedy, Principal Richard Campbell called for a student program to fight drug use 'twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week."

That was the start of the 24-7 Club at St. Albans. When Campbell took the helm as principal at Hurricane, he brought the 24/7 idea with him.

Teacher Heather Reed sponsored the new student group, and when she took a new job at the close of the last school year she carried the 24/7 initiative to Poca High School.

Elaine Rader/Bill Ellis /
Elaine Rader was the guest of Dr. Bill Ellis.

Kelli Allen, the new co-sponsor at Hurricane High reported to Putnam Rotarians today that a 24/7 Club has also started at Hurricane Middle School.

While the Board of Education has considered a comprehensive drug-testing policy for several weeks, even drawn some civil-rights objections, the Hurricane students have moved ahead on their own to start a voluntary testing program.

Students and their parents must authorize random drug screening. The tests are given at the school. Two girls and two boys are drawn at random and called from class for the screen. Results are shared with parents.

"It sends a powerful message," says Allen, and serves as a good foil against peer pressure. "I can't take drugs, because my parents and I have signed on for random testing."

Membership in 24/7 requires the family commitment to random testing, and over 70 freshmen have already signed the pledge.

Since much drug abuse can be tracked back to prescription medicines in the home, the club is offering "lock boxes" at local pharmacies at no charge. A small deposit is required.

The school is joining with local businesses to offer discount incentives for students who have signed on for the random testing. Special wrist bracelets are provided and t-shirts which proclaim "drug free and proud."

More about 24/7? Click HERE.
More Putnam Rotary News? Click HERE.