Energy drinks have been a foremost topic in the news over the past few months and the local school system has a new problem to tackle with the selling of them at school ballgame concession stands.
Through emails and letters, members of the Weakley County Alliance for a Safe and Drug Free Tennessee vowed to make sure energy drinks are not sold to young students at concession stands in the local schools and particularly at the University of Tennessee at Martin at Westview football games.
In a meeting held Tuesday, it was brought to the attention of the alliance that energy drinks, namely Red Bull™ and Monster™, were being sold to young students at Westview football games at UT Martin.
“The school system has been put on notice for these energy drinks,” Tommy Moore advised.
“If we don’t act on this, we could be negligent. The school department is on notice that energy drinks are dangerous.”
The situation was referred to as “a slap in the face of the alliance” since the alliance is part of the school system.
“The contract for that service is through UTM, not Weakley County Schools,” Assistant Director of Schools Jeff Kelley remarked.
Moore suggested sending a letter to the university to make people aware of the issue.
In addition, Director of Schools Randy Frazier plans to send a letter to Chancellor Tom Rakes.
The subject of energy drinks will definitely find its way on to the agenda for the upcoming town hall meeting as well as the subject the abuse of prescription drugs.
The meeting is tentatively planned for April 26 from 6-8 p.m. at a location yet to be determined.
“The purpose of the town hall meeting is to educate the community and teachers are part of the public we’re trying to educate,” Moore commented.
In updates, Westview student Calvin Walker was appointed to serve on the Governor’s Highway Safety Office Board as one of only three people chosen from the state.
The county has registered on the Tennessee website to set up a SADD chapter and two people from Westview, Beth Kempton and Debbie Gurley, have volunteered to be advisors for Westview’s chapter.
According to Director of Drug Free Schools Lorna Benson, the mentoring grant with Obion County is going well.
“They met twice in December and sent Stephanie Marshall, a school resource officer, to CADCA Academy,” Benson shared.
She updated the alliance on the District Attorneys General Conference on Best Practices for Drug Endangered Children.
“The primary response is to have agency agreements lined out about when a meth house is identified, who’s in charge of seeing over the children and clarifying roles and responsibilities,” Benson explained.
Currently, the Carl Perkins Center is in charge and other agencies will join in as protocols are further identified.Policies and procedures are being drafted and reviewed in order to get everything ready to apply for the DFC grant.
As a fundraiser, the alliance is planning a 3-on3-basketball tournament for students tentatively planned for this spring during the Iris Festival at Wilson Park in Dresden.
More updates will be given at the next alliance meeting on Feb. 22.