Missouri Safe and Sober has taken its message of sobriety to students across the Show-Me State, and now several are being rewarded for high student pledge rates including Lewis County C-1 (Highland High School) in Ewing, Missouri.

Springfield, Missouri attorney Kurt Larson started the program nearly a decade ago to encourage teens to stay sober. Missouri Safe and Sober now includes middle as well as high school students, and asks young people to sign a pledge card that says they will stay away from drugs and not use alcohol until age 21.

“Underage drinking can change a life forever, and the videos we provide to schools use real-life Missouri stories to drive home that point,” explained Larson. “With more than 77,000 students at 154 schools participating this year, we’ve brought that message to even more kids. It’s obviously made an impact, because several of these schools have seen greater than 75% of their students making this lifestyle pledge.”

Schools are divided into divisions based on their size. Each of the division winners will receive $1,000, which many schools use to fund things like alcohol-free lock-ins after graduation.

Division Winners:

  • Division I:   Craig R-3, Craig, Mo.
  • Division II:  Laquey R-5, Laquey, Mo.
  • Division III: Lewis County C-1 (Highland), Ewing, Mo.
  • Division IV: Cassville R-4, Cassville, Mo.
  • Division V:  Nixa High School, Nixa, Mo.

In addition to the division winners, Missouri Safe and Sober has chosen two other schools with exceptionally high pledge rates for $1,000 prizes as well. Calvary Lutheran in Jefferson City, Mo. had a pledge rate of 77%. At Halfway R-3 in Halfway, Mo., participation was 76%. For Halfway superintendent Tim Boatwright, that pledge rate is personal. His family was hit head-on by a drunk driver, and his 7-year-old daughter, Bailey, died.  The Boatwright’s story is featured in the video viewed by high school students statewide.

“I know the pressures these young people are under, but it makes me so proud to see them take the pledge and be good role models,” he explained. “It’s my professional and personal mission to educate young people on the dangers of drinking and driving and how their choices can have a lasting impression on their lives and the lives of others.”

In its first year as a statewide, year-round program, Missouri Safe and Sober went from 9,000 to 77,000 participating students, “Our goal would be to grow this program until every school in the state participates,” said Larson. Schools can sign up now for next year’s program, by going online to www.missourisafeandsober.com


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