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Students kick off SADD chapters with rally Sept. 15
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Rockdale County Public Schools and Rockdale students will kick-off the 2009-2010 season for several "Students Against Destructive Decisions" (S.A.D.D.) Chapters on Sept. 15 at Rockdale Career Academy from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. Rockdale County High School, Heritage High School, Salem High School, Rockdale Career Academy, Alpha Academy, and Edwards Middle School have formed local S.A.D.D. chapters in order to offer a student-led forum to engage in practices that encourage healthy choices and peer support. The event is coordinated by the offices of Student and Community Support in the Division of Support Services in the school district.

The kickoff will feature music provided by Salem High School jazz musicians, and local community partners will be in attendance to offer their support of the S.A.D.D. chapter formations. Among those in attendance will be the Rockdale County Task Force Against Family Violence, chaired by Judge Nancy Bills, and there will be representation from Prevent Child Abuse Rockdale and the Rockdale County Sheriff's Department. Several community partners have provided resources to make the students aware of local community agencies that are available for such serious topics as abuse and violence. Johnny's New York Style Pizza on Salem Road also provided coupons and pencils for students. Most importantly, students and families of middle and high school students in Rockdale County are invited to learn more about what these chapters have to offer.

"The Rockdale County Task Force Against Family Violence has expressed interest in supporting our students in making healthy decisions for quite some time, long before the formation of the S.A.D.D. chapters. I hope our students and families realize that they have tremendous support from so many people in the Rockdale community - support that is often behind the scenes but unwavering in its effort to provide meaningful opportunities to improve the lives of Rockdale's residents," said April Fallon, director of community support.

S.A.D.D. chapter members and sponsors will be available to showcase their efforts thus far at their home schools, and will review ideas for drawing awareness to Red Ribbon Week (Oct. 17 through Oct. 25), the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.

"The power in prevention efforts lies in the hands of our student-led communities", said Candace Ford, director of student support. "We are very thankful to have had the assistance of many people including RCPS school social workers, KidsNet behavioral health clinicians and other club sponsors to get these clubs up and running. Once this has occurred, the real ownership is solely placed on our students because they are aware of the issues they face on a daily basis", Ford added.

For more information about S.A.D.D. visit