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High Schoolers Share Reality Of Drugs And Alcohol

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On one wall at McKinnleyville High School hundreds of messages tell students personal stories about the impacts of drugs and alcohol. The messages are from 300 students, half of the student body, and tell how substance abuse has affected their own lives.

 

"I knew a few kids had a few problems with drugs and alcohol, but I had no idea that it was going to be this many," said Izzy Way, a senior at McKinnleyville High School.

 

Way, with her partner, Haliegh Dunk, helped collect the cards from students, read through them and put them up on the wall.

 

"We just want to spread the word that drugs and alcohol do affect peoples lives. Most people don't really talk about it," said Haliegh Dunk.

 

Chris Evans, an Assistance Councilor at McKinnleyville High School, created the 'Reality Wall' nine years ago to give students a visual way to see how their peers are affected.

 

In past years Evans put together the wall himself, but got help from the two seniors this year.

 

"I've see everything, The devastation from drugs and alcohol in Humboldt County and society, Kids are affected by it in all kinds of ways," said Dunk.

 

Evans said the amount of students who participated shows how much of an issue substance abuse and drinking is.

 

"When we get this many entries we have to be logical as adults. we need to say, 'What are we doing?' We need to stop, we need to be educated and make a difference for our children and families," said Evans.

 

The two seniors hope students bring their families to the wall to see the impact first hand.

 

"I think it's really important that people take the time to actually look at the wall. so that they know that these things happen," said Dunk