Last fall the non-profit group, "Fight The New Drug," presented to the Salt Lake County Council regarding their education efforts on the harmful effects of pornography to junior high and high school-aged children. I love what these guys do! They talk about this issue using science, facts, and personal accounts, but do it in a fun way. I believe the high number of children being exposed to violent and degrading pornography is a public health issue, and since the county is in the business of behavioral health, I would love to see these assemblies in every junior high and high school in the county.
In October, a private donor funded assemblies in Taylorsville at Bennion and Eisenhower Junior High Schools and Taylorsville High School. We also hosted a Parent Meeting where FTND gave parents helpful information on how to address this issue with their children.
Bennion Jr. High Principal Rod Horton said, “The feedback from the staff and students at Bennion Junior High was very positive about the “Fight the New Drug” assembly. They felt the message shared and the manner in which it was presented was very effective and engaging. I believe the message and video clips shared regarding the impact of pornography on the brain, relationships, and society, was impactful for the students. I would recommend this [presentation] to all schools.”
At the parent meeting we had parents from other communities who had heard about the meeting on the news and wanted to attend. They asked us, “When will you bring this to our schools?” The impact on the community has been positive, which has led to cities like Sandy making this part of their Healthy Sandy initiative for the second time. In fact, we partnered with them on an assembly at Union Middle School this week. We have also had the Valley West Rotary Club express interest in partnering, and are grateful for the support Granite School District has given in promoting this in their schools.
There is now a perfect opportunity to have the next phase of assemblies in Kearns to coincide with Salt Lake County’s “Building Healthy Communities” program. So today in our county council meeting Councilmember Jensen and I asked the council to contribute $2000 towards these assemblies in Kearns. I am thrilled that it passed! Next step is to meet with the Kearns principals and get them scheduled for the fall. We will also be having a third party analyze effectiveness of these assemblies using data.
For more information on FTND, see their website: fightthenewdrug.org.