Pleasant View students share their voices and take a stand against tobacco
It’s got a silly name, but its intent is very serious.
Pleasant View middle schoolers spoke out about tobacco use on Kick Butts Day, a nationwide day of activism that empowers youth to stand out and speak up against tobacco use.
More than 75 Pleasant View sixth, seventh and eighth-graders made pledges to not use tobacco and share with others the deadly impacts of tobacco, said Meagan Nunn, health teacher at Pleasant View.
“We want our students to choose to be tobacco free for the obvious reasons, like their health, but also to speak up, in an appropriate manner, for what they believe in,” said Nunn. “As the health teacher, when we get to the drugs, alcohol and tobacco unit, nearly every student has a story to tell about how tobacco, drugs or alcohol has affected a loved one. This provides students an outlet to take a stand.”
Chloe Sutherland, an eighth-grader at Pleasant View, was one of the student leaders who made a pledge to speak out against tobacco use.
“There’s a statistic that nine out of 10 smokers start smoking before 18,” said Chloe. “That’s our age range. So making a pledge to not smoke is important to me, because I want to be a good example. I know sixth and seventh-graders look up to us, and if I make this pledge, then maybe they will, too. Making that pledge makes me feel involved in making a difference.”
During the course of the day, students signed their names on the pledge wall, as well as took photos in the photo booth. Nunn created a Snapchat filter for their individual photos so that students would be able to use their personal social media networks to spread the message against tobacco.
“Students, at this age, are eager to be given choices and have their voices be heard,” said Nunn. “This event empowers students to stand up and speak out on tobacco use and its marketing. It is important as adults that we help provide these opportunities, in order to teach them healthy, smarty, positive ways for them to share their voices and to be heard.”