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Taking a Stand

A short essay about saying no to drugs
by Michael Hannah, age 11, from US

Hi, my name is Michael Hannah, and I am going to share with you what I have learned about saying no and handling the pressure of peers. Some might force you to try new things that may be harmful to health, illegal or just plain bad. In these types of situations, I often think of the media. I have seen and learned how television, radio or movies try to show you why you should try this new type of thing. One of the examples is showing a skier having fun skiing with a pole in one hand and holding a beer in the other. In reality, you would probably crash and get hurt severely and or hurt someone else if you did this.

Another good lesson was learning different ways to say "no," such as demanding, unsure or confident. Doing role-play acts helped me practice this. Lots of the students in the lessons picked demanding, because it sounded like a good way to keep the person away by having a demanding state as you are refusing.

The most interesting lesson was when I spoke to older teens from a high school that had already experienced these situations. They gave great advice. I asked them questions such as "How do you choose the right friends?" or "Have you ever been offered drugs or alcohol or been asked and pressured to do something that you were unsure of doing?"

Finally, in conclusion, you should never do drugs, something that is bad, or something that you were not sure you should do. To stay free from those things, people, especially kids, should declare to choose to
hang around the right crowd now, in jr. high school and beyond. I may have not known how to deal with it if I had not learned how to react when you are getting pressured to do something that you may not want to do.

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