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Central // Central Oahu News
Nicole Kato

Assembly Revs Up Waialua School’s Anti-Meth Campaign

Waialua High and Intermediate School recently hosted a Hawaii Meth Project (HMP) “Meth Awareness Day” assembly as its own declaration in the continuing war on drugs.

Coordinated by the school’s Peer Education Program (PEP), the event was designed to educate students about the dangers and devastating effects of crystal methamphetamine.

HMP program manager Colby Takeda said the group’s Meth Awareness Day caters to the specific schools that host the assemblies.

“Hawaii Meth Project works with the school’s PEP to find out what students know about meth, such as the ingredients used to make it and the effects it can have on a person’s body,” Takeda explained.

At Waialua, some students knew the answers to the questions, but many others did not.

“In our presentation, we shared hard facts about the dangers and risks involved with meth use, not just to the user, but also to their family and community,” Takeda explained. “We also discussed some of the signs of meth use and what they can do to help someone who could be addicted to the drug.”

The assembly featured guest speaker Koa Lagapa, a Waialua High senior whose life has been heavily influenced by meth.

“He has watched his family members be torn apart by the destructive drug,” Takeda said. “He shared his own personal testimony with his peers and performed a piece of original slam poetry related to the adversity that he and his family have overcome.

“The message of meth use prevention is that much more powerful for these students when it touches the life of someone close to them.”

At the end of the assembly, students took a pledge against meth by adding their handprint or signature to a large mural created by PEP students and the school’s media class. It reads: “Waialua Bulldogs pledge to not do meth or any types of drugs! Not even once!”

Waialua’s PEP introduced students to the signs of risky behavior, such as drug and alcohol use, domestic violence and psychological abnormalities.

Students can then become the “experts on campus” and educate their peers through presentations, awareness campaigns and interactive programs to create a healthier campus environment.

The mural reflects HMP’s motto of “not even once” and is displayed on campus.

“We hope that by understanding these details, students can make more informed decisions and prevent them from trying this drug, while becoming advocates against it to their friends and family,” Takeda said. “By equipping students with these important tools, they can become more confident should they ever find themselves in a difficult situation involving meth.”

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