LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Calcasieu Parish middle schoolers are taking a stand against the war on drugs. More than 700 students came out Wednesday for the Calcasieu-DFY program. The program sponsored by the Calcasieu Parish District Attorney's Office stands for Drug Free Youth.
As part of the all day seminar the teens got to ride the "Fatal Vision" auto cart - paired with goggles it simulates for the driver what it would be like driving impaired.
"Having the goggles on made me feel dizzy and I was seeing double and everything," said Charlissia Richard, Barbe High School junior.
The students also heard from motivational speaker Josh Shipp. "My message is don't be average. So what that doesn't necessarily mean being the best, but being your best. I think all of us in our life have that opportunity to be our best, but there are often outside circumstances that try to stop us from doing such," said Shipp.
"I think it's a big issue for people our age because the drinking rates are higher than they've ever been and it's supposed to be illegal for people our age and they still do it anyway," said Shay Smith, Vinton Middle School 8th grader. "By coming here we can make the commitment and then go back to our schools and communities and tell other students about living a drug free lifestyle."
"We are working very closely with the Calcasieu Parish School Board to try and address the problem of drug abuse at a very, very early age by using school counselors, our own counselors at the District Attorney's Office and to keep people out of the juvenile justice system," explained Calcasieu D.A. John DeRosier.
The D.A.'s Office offers discounts at local businesses to its Calcasie-DFY student members for their commitment to remain drug-free.