SADD Chapter reactivated at MCS

By Brian Sweeney
The Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) group has been reactivated this year at Margaretville Central School.

Fifteen students have volunteered to participate in the nationally known organization. The group’s goal is to raise awareness of the consequences of choices made by students and adults.
“What we’re trying to do as a Margaretville chapter is to clearly be positive social role models for the people in our school,” explained MCS history teacher and SADD Advisor Brigitte Nagle. “It’s about doing something good.”

Revitalized
Mrs. Nagle said that Margaretville previously had an active SADD chapter, but the group has been inactive for about a decade.

“We saw a need to have kids help make other students aware of their actions,” she explained.
Mrs. Nagle said approximately 30 students in grades 7-12 participated in an informational meeting on the program last fall and half of those attendees have become dedicated to the organization’s goals.

She has been very pleased with the commitment shown by the SADD members.
“These 15 students are superstars. They are exactly who needs to be in this group,” Mrs. Nagle remarked.

She said that the program places an emphasis on communicating with each other and looking at the results of your own actions. Reinforcement through positive behavior is one of the keys to SADD’s mission, she explained.

Focus updated
Mrs. Nagle said the national organization was originally formed as Students Against Drunk Driving. While the group achieved success in teaching about the consequences driving while under the influence of alcohol, SADD’s name was eventually changed to allow the organization to encompass broader goals.

The MCS advisor pointed out that operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs and texting while driving are among the types of issues raised by group members. Domestic violence is also a problem about which SADD members raise awareness.

Although she was the catalyst for getting the Margaretville SADD chapter reregistered, Mrs. Nagle emphasized that the participants run the program.

Kids are in charge
“It’s very student-centered – I’m just sort of the on the guiding side of it,” she noted.
Mrs. Nagle added, “We’re trying to take a more humanistic type of approach to it – trying to make it very personal to Margaretville.”

The history instructor said she likes to remind the group members that, “Many great leaders have led by example.”

The start of the school year was devoted to getting the SADD organization reestablished at MCS. The group now meets each Tuesday at lunch and plans activities to raise awareness regarding good decision-making practices.

The Margaretville group’s first official function will occur on Friday, Dec. 21 when area residents will be encouraged to Lights on for Life. During this event, part of a national campaign, SADD members will ask people to drive with lights on during the day to recognize those who lost their lives through driving impaired operators.

The organization needs a budget to help with its informational campaigns and is planning several fund-raisers. A Movie Night is scheduled for January 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium. The group is also working to bring the Yankee Doodle Circus to MCS in late January.
The students are pleased to be participants in this group.

“I’m excited for this SADD group. It can do a lot for our school. It might even affect surrounding schools. Show your support on Friday, December 21 for the organization by participating in Lights for Life,” stated Brandon Belaski.

Sami Hunt is another enthusiatic group member.
“I’m eager to see what else we can accomplish in SADD this year,” she said.