Pubdate: Tue, 25 Oct 2005
Source: Suffolk News-Herald (VA)
Copyright: 2005 Suffolk News-Herald
Author: Andrew Giermak
Bookmark: (Drug Education)


Nansemond Parkway Elementary School students began their Red Ribbon Week to 
"Say No to Drugs" with a special, not quite surprise, visitor.

The special guest this week was none other than the master web weaver and 
star of comic books and the silver screen, Spiderman.

Before the webbed wonder had entered the gym, fifth-grader Tiffany Whitsitt 
piped up, "My cousin's going to be Spiderman for Halloween!"

Spiderman hosted a pair of assemblies Monday morning in the Nansemond 
Parkway gym, speaking with the children about drugs and bullying.

After getting everyone's rapt attention by storming into the room with 
silly string at the ready, and somehow (because afterall, he's a superhero) 
learning every student's name by having every third, fourth, and fifth 
grader yell out their name at the same time, Spiderman got down to business.

First, on the issue - bullying, Spiderman said, "You probably think telling 
an adult is tattle-tailing, but if someone is bullying you, is that really 

"What if someone out on the playground was hurt and you went to tell an 
adult what happened and to get help? Would that be tattle-tailing?"

Crowd participation came into play as the superhero asked the students why 
people decide to use drugs.

Fifth-grader Hasaan L. Newsome surmised, "because they want to be like 
other people, and not be themselves."

Spiderman wanted everyone to know that some drugs are useful and helpful, 
but, "drugs are something you put into your body that changes your mind or 
your body. So it's very important you don't take a drug you're not supposed 

Then there was a test, actually the Marvel Superhero Challenge. Somehow 
there were many more participants ready to do something named the "Marvel 
Superhero Challenge."

Skye Bougouneau was asked how tough third grade is.

Spiderman, "Are you learning a bunch of geometry and trigonometry?"

Skye, "No."

Spiderman, "What are you learning?"

Skye, "Rome."

Spiderman, "Rome? What are you learning about Rome?"

Skye, "They built lots of cool buildings and things."

More on topic for the Superhero Challenge, Skye also knew Tylenol was an 
example of a drug that can be good.

Spiderman then gave all in attendance the Superhero's Oath, a pledge card, 
and an autographed photo. The assembly ended, but not without the vital 
knowledge that Spiderman would be spending the rest of the day visiting 
classrooms. And not without Tiffany ushering important newspaper guy over 
to meet her cousin, fourth-grader Courtney Rickman who affirmed she was 
going to be Spiderman for Halloween.
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