Pubdate: Wed, 21 Apr 2004
Source: Paris Star (CN ON)
Copyright: 2004 Paris Star
Author: Jason Noe


Paris Star -- On April 26, parents and teachers are invited to attend a 
drug and alcohol awareness session at the Paris public library with guest 
speaker Curtis Bell. Aside from being a former football player for the 
Toronto Argonauts, Bell is a dynamic speaker who has toured Canada talking 
to audiences about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. He has already spoken 
to children in area schools and now it's the parents' turn.

"It's a safety issue," said chairman of the school council Scott Harvey. 
"It's something a lot of parents are out of touch with."

He said that when he previously saw Bell speaking about these issues, he 
realized how he could hold the attention of a roomful of children. Harvey 
has also spent a great deal of time organizing the evening with the 
assistance of the library and hopes there is a good turnout for the event.

A parent of three children himself, he feels that Paris and the County of 
Brant are changing and becoming more suburban, where young people have 
better accessibility to drugs and alcohol.

"A lot of parents don't think it will happen to their kids, they think it 
will happen to somebody else's kid," said Harvey.

He believes that most young kids are good kids, but they may have a harder 
time saying no to drugs and alcohol when it's given to them by a friend.

"For naive parents, I hope they come away with a sense that it is not an 
horrific problem, but something they can work on," said Harvey.

He does not intend to scare parents, but simply wants to supply them with 
realistic information and make them aware of what is going on.

At the end of Bell's presentation, there will be an opportunity for parents 
to ask him questions about what they have just heard. The session begins at 
7 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room of the library and admission is free.

"If one parent benefits and there is a positive outcome, then it was well 
done," said Harvey.
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