The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

SADD chapter opens at Portales High


April 20, 2018

PORTALES — Students in this busy age may sometimes feel they’re drowning in a sea of choices. That’s why a group of Portales High School students have decided to throw out some life preservers.

Students Against Destructive Decisions is an organization dedicated to providing “students with the best prevention and intervention tools possible to deal with the issues of underage drinking, other drug use, impaired driving, and other destructive decisions,” according to its mission statement.

A chapter of the organization recently opened at PHS, sponsored by teacher Amy Green and substitute teacher Lesley Ledbetter, who also sponsored a chapter in Alamogordo.

“We loved it so much, and everything that it stood for and everything that the students were able to do within it, that we really wanted to move it here as well,” Ledbetter said.

“It just started a few weeks ago and the kids are already off to such an amazing start with uplifting the student body at the school, and they’re even talking about doing things for the community.”

Ledbetter added that the students commenced their first project a few weeks earlier when their peers began standardized testing.

Kylie Stenstrom, a member, said SADD members attached positive messages like “You are a fantastic person” and “You’ve got this” to pieces of candy and gave them to the student body.

The idea that students supporting each other can curb destructive behavior is what Stenstrom said initially prompted her to join.

“I’d read about it before and I thought it was really cool, and I thought the idea of it is absolutely amazing, that students can help other students not make destructive decisions,” she said. “The people there are just so (open), and they’re all just so nice.”

Future plans for the group include forming committees to address problems students have observed at PHS and eventually attending a national convention, according to Stenstrom.

With 18 members so far, the group is strong and getting stronger, Ledbetter said.

“My son goes to the high school and is in the SADD chapter, and he said that it’s all around the school and the kids are talking about becoming a part of it. It’s exciting,” she said.


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