Counselors Raise Awareness with Simulation


Imani Warren

To simulate the effects of drinking, counselors provide students with impairment goggles and ask them to perform normal tasks.

Imani Warren, Contributing Writer

This week is Red Ribbon Week for Pattonville High School. Counselors set up a stand in the cafeteria during all lunch periods so students can experience the Fatal Vision goggles. Students are encouraged to participate and try to walk the line while “under the influence.”

According to Ms. Patterson, “We have lost 66 kids in the last three years to long-term suspensions.”

She continued, “It’s beyond time for us to be having the conversation. We need more prevention.”

Her goal is that kids will begin to rethink their perception of harm. She wants kids to know they don’t have to do these things “to cope with life, have fun, or because you’re bored. You’ve got to have some life skills,” says Patterson.

This is the first year that counselors have taken a different approach to outreach and prevention. Usually, we have someone come in and give a speech, but Ms. Patterson cautions we need to keep dialogue about alcohol use going. “Not to say it’s not effective, but we need to have this conversation repeatedly.”