Debbie RolenStaff Writer
December 6, 2012
LOGAN — United States Attorney Booth Goodwin, along with U.S. Marshal John Foster and West Virginia Air National Guard Major Gen. James Hoyer met with faculty and students from Logan Middle School and Logan High School on Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2012, to discuss internet safety, bullying, and the impact of prescription and illegal drug use. They also stressed the importance and consequences of decisions made during the teen years.
U. S. Attorney Goodwin has visited 15 schools throughout the district. The Logan school visits were held in conjunction with Logan County High School’s student behavior intervention program known as the A3 model which encourages positive student attitude, action and achievement.
Goodwin said, “The reason we are here today is to encourage students to make the right choices – to be ambassadors for justice and change. It can make a tremendous difference in their lives as well as the lives of their peers.”
Numerous reports of school bullying and social media threats involving young people prompted Goodwin to form the U. S. Attorney’s Ambassadors for Justice, which is a group of students from 40 high schools who are willing to step forward and do something if one of their peers is making a self-destructive decision or bullying someone.
Goodwin said he hopes the school visits raise awareness and have an impact on students making good decisions.
“My major belief is that we should be every bit as much about preventing crime as prosecuting crime,” said Goodwin, “Educating students about positive choices is essential to making our communities safer.”
U.S. Marshal John Foster, who spoke to students about the harmful and long-term effects of bullying said, “The point that I wanted to emphasize to the students at Logan is that their choices in life matter. It takes courage to stand up for the weak.”
Foster continued, “A person that you might know who is being put down or bullied now could very well grow up to be a police officer, firefighter, paramedic or nurse. You might need to call on them for help later on in life.”
“Life is full of hurts, “concluded Foster, “Choices you make on how to handle those hurts is what matters. No one, except you, can determine what your future will be.“
West Virginia National Guard Major Gen. James Hoyer said, “I have had several very capable young men and women approach me with aspirations of joining the military. However, I’ve had to turn them away because they’ve made poor choices or have gotten involved in illegal drugs.”
Hoyer continued, “The students have to understand the importance of making wise choices. The choices that they make now can significantly limit their opportunities as an adult.”