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Madison Elementary School

Mr. Flynn has taught us so much. He has taught us about drugs and alcohol, strategies, and being confident about ourselves. I just hope we are all able to realize how bad things like smoking and drinking beer are for us.

Did you know that alcohol is illegal for anyone 21 and younger? Unfortunately, a small fraction of under-aged teenagers do drink alcohol, but most don’t. Every year, there is around 75,000 alcohol related deaths in the country. Since teenage bodies are still growing, alcohol affects them more than it would an adult body. Remember that alcohol and medicine should never be mixed; it can turn out to have very dangerous consequences.

Alcohol affects the brain, you can have loss of coordination, poor judgment, loss of self-control, memory loss, and slow reflexes. It also weakens the heart muscle. If you have too much alcohol, your body may shut down and you could possibly die. Because alcohol goes directly into the bloodstream, every organ of your body can be damaged.

Sometimes I wonder why people would drink at all; it can cause you to harm yourself or someone else, and even kill them.

Tobacco is an awful drug. In the United States, it’s illegal to sell any tobacco products to anybody under the age of 18, even 19 in some states. Did you know there is more than 200 harmful chemicals in cigarettes? Cigarettes have a very powerful addiction, which is nicotine.

Nicotine reduces the amount of blood that flows to the brain. The number one preventable cause of death in our country is smoking. More than 400,000 Americans die from tobacco related causes every year.

Almost 50,000 deaths every year can be because of secondhand smoke, which can interfere with the way your brain works. Smoking can cause heart disease, lung cancer, yellow teeth, bad breath, dry skin and even a hairy tongue. Chewing tobacco can cause mouth cancer, tooth loss, and other health problems. Why do people smoke?

We have learned some resistance strategies to help get away from alcohol and cigarettes or any other drugs. You could try and stay away from anywhere you know there is going to be trouble at. Or, hang out with people who don’t cause trouble, smoke, or drink alcohol. Say no, and give an excuse, make it look like you have something else going on. You could walk away, or even just try and change the subject.

Have you been feeling depressed? Upset? Embarrassed? Lonely? Frustrated? Or have you been having random mood flashes? Are you angry more often? Sweaty palms? Red cheeks? Knot in your stomach? They are all signs of stress.

If you are feeling stressed, you can talk about it to your parents, a trusted friend or teacher, or a counselor. You could even just try and have fun with your friends - try to forget about whatever is getting you stressed out. Or, if you’re noticing these things with one of your friends, try to talk to them about the.

Being stressed is no fun, whether it’s you or your friend. You could also just breathe, or do something you like to do that could calm you down.

Have you been bullied? A bystander? Or even a bully? Ask yourself why, why were you bullied? Why did you bully? Why didn’t you get a teacher or help, why were you a bystander? It happens everyday around the country. Sometimes you’re too afraid of what might happen if you see someone getting bullied and try to get help. Maybe at the time you were thinking “What if I get bullied?”

What about everybody who’s been bullied? The bullies are most likely having issues at home, or maybe they aren’t feeling good about themselves. Don’t bully back - that won’t help at all, I just feel bad for them, get some help.

You could send an anonymous note to a teacher or the principle, a friend, or even your parents. Or maybe you should try talking to a counselor about it? It may be embarrassing at first, but you’ll feel much better about yourself if you talk to someone about it - whether you’re the bystander or the person getting bullied.

Sometimes you may be called a tattletale. There’s a difference; being a tattletale is telling on someone for talking when they aren’t supposed to, but if someone is getting bullied or if you’re getting bullied that’s a different story, you need to tell someone. It’s worth it. Mr. Flynn taught us the 5 W’s for safely reporting, “Who, What, Where, When and Why.”

Thank you Mr. Flynn for teaching me and all the other students you’ve taught. You have given us many reasons to never bully, smoke or do drugs; also how to feel better about ourselves. You have made a difference in may life and in many others.

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