Photo by Stan Bindell
Hopi Jr/Sr High received $94,900 check from the Arizona Governor’s Office. The posing officials are, from left, Hopi High Substance Abuse Prevention Counselor Lynn Root, Hopi High Principal Glenn Gilman, Hopi Jr/Sr High Governing Board President Anita Bahnimptewa, Hopi Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr., Hopi Jr/Sr High Superintendent Paul Reynolds and Holly Orozco and Monica Staats from the Arizona Governor’s Office.
There will be a minimum of 11 students in the class. There could be as many as 25 students in the class.
The students would be juniors and seniors. They would sign pledges to remain drug and alcohol free.
Once the students complete the program they often give presentations to school boards, city councils and tribal councils.
Bliss said a signing ceremony would be held that would include parents because this would show student commitment and accountability while involving the parents.
“This is not about alcohol, but about giving the child the tools to make healthy decisions,” she said.
Bliss said one of the decisions includes keeping those who drink from driving. Another is that there are many students who are killed each year because they are passengers with drunk drivers and don’t even wear their seatbelts.
Orozco, a program administrator within the Governor’s Office, said the Governor’s Office of Substance Abuse Policy (GOSAP) specializes in resource development, policy development, training and technical assistance and creating a sustainable framework for prevention.
Hopi Chairman Wayne Taylor Jr. praised the program and noted that he created a multi-agency task force last year to address drug and alcohol problems on the Hopi Reservation. They have scheduled a drug prevention summit April 4-8 at Hopi Jr/Sr High School.
The National Elementary School Principal’s Association and the American Medical Association have endorsed the Protecting You, Protecting Me program.
(Stan Bindell, former Observer editor, is journalism and radio teacher at Hopi High School.)