DANVILLE, Ill. (WCIA) — An expanded program will teach kids as young as 5 about drugs and alcohol. It’s part of a partnership between the district, Crosspoint and Rosecrance.
Jordyn McBride is a parent of two 3-year olds. Her kids aren’t in school yet, but she thinks the decision for the Danville School District to teach students about the affects of drugs and alcohol is something which needs to be done.
“Hopefully, it will make it to where they will never do it because they understand it better at such an age where they’re growing more versus when they’re older and instead of already knowing about it, it’s just thrown in their face and they just do it because they don’t know the affects that it will have on their bodies,” says McBride.
McBride feels that way because she remembers having classmates who smoked cigarettes and drank alcohol when they were in 5th and 6th grades, so she sees how the district wants to make a difference.
School administrators say the expansion could help keep kids in school, educate them on the pitfalls of getting involved with drugs at a young age, and explain the importance of reaching out for support.
“When your parents are telling you, ‘Don’t listen,’ versus when it’s positive people in their school they listen to daily, it would maybe come across better for them,” states McBride.
While she’s supportive of the schools plan, it raises questions for parents like Ashley Shelton.
“Do they think that this would control parents to not drink so much because their kids know more or more knowledgeable about school like I don’t? It’s just questions like that,” says Shelton.
The mother of three, has a 4-year old who would learn about drugs and alcohol through the program.
“My daughter, being pre-kindergarten, it would just kind of go over her head,” says Shelton.
Shelton says she can see the benefits, but she worries about the side effects.
“It might just lead them to being more curious to what’s in the drink or why do they drink it so often?” states Shelton.
Overall, parents say this could help get the conversation going.
“It opens up that conversation for parents to then to say, ‘Okay, my kids are at that age where they need to talk about this or understanding what it is,'” says McBride.