- Associated Press - Sunday, June 29, 2014

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - A Hawkins County program aimed at fifth-graders seeks to deter them from drugs, as well as help them deal with a family member’s addiction.

The Kingsport Times News (https://bit.ly/1lbD9Zi) reports the Drug Resistance Education and Anger Management program was launched about three years ago by Hawkins County Sheriff Ronnie Lawson.

School resource officers teach the class one day a week for 10 weeks to every fifth-grader in the county school system.

At the end of the course, students are asked to write an essay on what the program has meant to them.

Officials say the program targets fifth-graders because they usually have yet to make decisions that are going to affect the rest of their lives, like whether or not to try drugs.

The SRO at Hawkins Elementary brought one of this year’s student essays to the attention of Lawson.

In the essay, the boy said he enjoyed participating in the program, and wished his mother could.

“She picked drugs over me,” he wrote. “I wish you (the SRO instructor) could see her and talk to her about drugs, and maybe she will understand what drugs can and will do to you.”

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Information from: Kingsport Times-News, https://www.timesnews.net

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