Elementary Level:  The Growing Child and Search for Personal Values

To the Parent:

Drug education at the third and fourth grade level is controversial and questionable.

The normal reaction is; “That’s too young.”  “What is that guy crazy?”  “No way there going to teach about drugs my ten or eleven year old.”

I’m not offended and as a parent, I understand those feelings very well.  I might have said those very same things myself when my child was in the third grade. 

The problem is they are starting to learn about drugs at ten and eleven today - not necessarily use them at first, but it is being planted in their consciousness from teen movie comedies and other media.  If children learn about these things outside of the classroom and home, then that is a big step towards alienation from authority – family, church, school. 

It’s almost like being damned if you do and damned if you don’t.  One wishes they didn’t have to go near that subject in elementary school and that we could wait for the late middle school or early high school to deal with that.  But sadly that’s too late in today’s America because the children are also learning about sex at the same time – each year they seem to start disturbingly younger. 

I recall my dentist friend lamenting to me that his son was uncomfortable at his Hebrew day school.   He was in the fifth grade and each day on the school bus, some of the girls were giving boys a blowjob.  I said; “My God, that’s a private school, those kids come from good families, are they really starting that young today?”   “Apparently.”; he sighed.  That was ten years ago, is it not worse today?

Children are very skilled at telling their parents what they want to hear.  That reflects a breakdown of honest communication.  As legalized pot takes root in Colorado and Washington, how will these states and parents deal with really young users who claim a right?  Could children sue that an arbitrary age set by the state is a form of age discrimination?

Life is much more complex than when I was a child growing up.  Today’s children are introduced to very adult subjects at terrifyingly young ages perhaps robbing them of their childhood.

My objective is to present a drug education curriculum that I developed in 1978 – thirty-five years later it still seems amazingly current.  Some parent – child stresses never change over time.  Some of the pictured technologies are dated – pin ball machines, old TV sets – but the games the same – over-absorption in escapist activities. 

                                                                                                                                               

Lesson 1: Introduction – For Kids Only

Have you ever used drugs?  Not the kind your family or doctor prescribe for you when you are ill, but the kind that your police, teachers, and parents may tell you are wrong to sample. 

At your age there is a very good chance that you have not.  However, you might have seen an older brother, sister, friend, neighborhood teenager, or stranger use them or act as if they were using drugs.  Drug usage among young people is very widespread. 

You may soon be faced with the choice of using drugs as you get older.  What will you do?

We live in a very complex society.  Not all things appear to be simply right or wrong.  Some are a little bit in between.  Using drugs is considered wrong by our country in general, but right with many younger and older people in America.

In our country, the individual must decide personally how they are going to live and what to do with their life.  A set of generally fair laws governs us all telling us what is right or wrong (legal or illegal).

Alcohol, tobacco, caffeine and specially prescribed drugs are legal in our society.

Marijuana or pot is starting to become legal in some parts of the country. 

Drugs such as barbiturates (downers), amphetamines (speed), L.S.D. (acid), cocaine, heroin, ecstasy are not legal.  When you break the law, you must pay a penalty (punishment) and accept a consequence.

How you choose to live is a very important and difficult subject to decide.  Hopefully, the following lessons will help you to understand your society and yourself better.  The aim is to help you to make smart choices for yourself.  Information is included to help you.

           

           

Lesson 2: Introduction – CHOOSING

In lesson #2 we will discuss the development of good and bad habits and the use of legal drugs.  The leaders of our society have passed laws that declare certain drugs to be illegal (against the law) because there is proof that they have harmed many people.  Societies often feel they must protect people from themselves. 

Of course it is impossible to stop somebody from hurting themselves if they want to.  To prevent this we offer education and make known laws to stop drug use.  In lesson #2 we will learn how and why people may develop bad habits.

Some years back, young people liked to play pinball.  This was before x-box and Nintendo were invented.  TV’s today are all flat screen – not so long ago, TV’s were wider and screens were smaller.  That picture is the large screen TV of 1978 with a 32 inch screen. 

Constant snorting (cocaine, heroin, meth) may destroy nasal membranes and require a deviated septum operation.   Injecting anything into the arm hurts; each injection leaves a hole in your arm and can collapse veins.  Heroin is morphine which has varying strengths – too strong a quality can overdose a person leading to death.  Thousand of Americans each year overdose from heroin injections and die. 

Artist Peter Max drew this picture.  Can you do better?  Have a contest.  Create the wildest poster. 

  

You are your own judge.  You must always do what is best for you.  Make your own right choice.  Do you know enough about this subject now?  If you are curious, don’t try drugs to see if this lesson is true.  Find more information and learn more and then choose.  Life will probably force you to anyway. 

Lesson #4: - Additional Resource Package:

Two examples of marijuana or pot bushes

In the late 1800’s, unscrupulous people used the U. S. Mail to send drugs to unsuspecting customers.  Cough syrups full of cocaine, morphine, alcohol and other drugs were advertised in magazines to attract mail order customers.  The post office did not yet have inspectors to investigate criminal enterprises and it took time to stop this racket.  Notice that Mrs. Winslow’s soothing was for children.  The syrup usually stopped the coughing by drugging the child.  When the effects wore off, the child wanted more and more – addiction. 

As legalization of marijuana spreads across the United States, how will the states keep children from exposure leading to personal use at inappropriate age levels?