New course for Davidson County 7th graders will cover drugs, alcohol, social media, vaping

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DAVIDSON COUNTY, N.C. -- Sheriff Richie Simmons is introducing a new program to Davidson County's 7th graders.

The T.A.M.E., or Teenage Alcohol and Marijuana Education, program will expand on D.A.R.E. courses taught to 5th graders in the district.

Sheriff Simmons said Wednesday that the program begins September 20 with one-hour courses each month on a different topic like vaping, social media, coping mechanisms and drugs and alcohol.

“We want it to be on a personal level," Sheriff Simmons said. "We want them to be interactive and hear what problems they’re having because we’re going to be learning as we give this."

The courses will include discussion groups and guest speakers, including school resource officers and district court judges.

“This is going to be tough love for these kids to get them to change and get them to think outside the box that they’re not going to be teenagers all their lives," Sheriff Simmons said. "One day, they’re going to want good jobs and what they’ve done in the past, they’ll have to answer for it.”

He said he hopes the program will also reduce bad behavior in schools.

“Makes the job a little easier on our SRO’s, on our teachers. That we get back to what we need to be doing in schools, and that’s learning," Sheriff Simmons said.

He added that he is already designing a program with the county's high schoolers in mind, and he hopes the course will eventually reach other districts.

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