LEARNING TRUTHS ABOUT CONSEQUENCES – Ninth-graders at Fulton City and Fulton County high schools recently joined together to participate in the annual “Truth and Consequences” program. Held this year at Fulton City, the event included a video shown by the Four Rivers Behavioral Health officials, a special speaker, an opportunity to walk through random scenarios involving drug abuse and discovering the consequences that come with those actions, and then a chance to discuss and debrief.
The event was created by the University of Kentucky’s Cooperative Extension Service and is coordinated by 4-H agents throughout the Commonwealth to show students the impact of being involved with drugs, tobacco and alcohol. Bernita Cheirs, Fulton County 4-H Agent, led the local event and was assisted by FIS and Fulton County FRYSCs and the area’s ASAP Council.
The students attended the sessions by groups of 20. Three of the four sessions were held in classrooms around the gym. Throughout the gym, stations were located with representatives from the county’s health department, a minister, a counseling and treatment center, the court designated worker, county attorney, judge, detention center, the coroner’s. Each freshman received a specific scenario and proceeded to the stations to be informed of the consequences of their actions involved in the scenario. All of the information given to the participants was based on fact, policy and/or law.
Some students were told that their scenario would lead to probation while others were given jail time by District Judge Hunter Whitesell. After dressing in prison orange, the participants talked with actual members Fulton County Detention Center. While wearing handcuffs, these students were told what would happen when they entered the jail to serve their time if the scenarios were real.
The goal of the program is to prevent students from ever using drugs and alcohol. For those that it might not prevent all usage, the hope of those involved with the program is that it might scare them away from overdose and addiction.
Some of the agencies involved in the program included Fulton County Judge, Fulton City Police, South Fulton Police, Fulton County Extension Service; juvenile probation and parole; Fulton County Attorney’s office; Purchase District Health Department; Baptist Hospital, Paducah; Fulton County Coroner’s office; and various ministers from the area.