Governor tells Magothy students to shun drugs

January 22, 1993|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

Gov. William Donald Schaefer visited Magothy River Middle School yesterday with a very basic message for the students -- stay away from drugs and stay away from drug dealers.

"Drug dealers are bums who have nothing in mind but to destroy your life," Mr. Schaefer told the students. "Just stay away from them."

Mr. Schaefer brought his message to help kick off the fifth annual Maryland You Are Beautiful Student Literacy Writing Competition. This year's theme is "Say No to Drugs -- Say Yes to Success."

As a kid, the governor said, he didn't have to deal with the intense pressure to take drugs that students face today. But, he added, they must be determined to avoid drugs, because of the severe repercussions.

"Have you ever seen a crack baby," Mr. Schaefer asked the students. "You ever seen an AIDS baby? I look at them and I think, 'Why did your parents do that to you?' That baby will never have a healthy day in its life."

About 200 students, members of Magothy's band and chorus, helped kick off the competition by entertaining guests, including the governor and representatives from the state Department of Education and county government. Councilwoman Diane R. Evans, R-Arnold, School Superintendent C. Berry Carter II and school board members Maureen Carr York and Jo Ann Tollenger also were on hand for the kick-off.

Students from nearby Windsor Farm, Arnold, Cape St. Clair, Broadneck and Belvedere elementaries, Severn River Junior High and Broadneck High schools helped launch the writing competition. Representatives from each presented Mr. Schaefer with gifts, ranging from replicas of their school mascots to pencils to help the governor work out his budget.

The competition is open to all public and private school students, kindergarten through 12th grade. Students compete in four categories -- kindergarten through grade 2, grades 3-5, grades 6-8 and grades 9-12. Entries may be submitted between Feb. 1 and March 1.

Last year, more than 170,000 students entered the contest. Christine Morris, then a second-grade student at Shady Side Elementary School, took first place in last year's competition.

Every student who enters the contest will receive discounted coupon's to Paramount's Kings Dominion Theme Parks.

Twelve finalists will be selected from among the entries, to be honored at an awards ceremony and luncheon with the governor in May. Finalists also will receive baseball tickets for four, special recognition by the Baltimore Orioles and a savings bond from Care First/Columbia-Free State Health Systems.

In addition, first-place winners in each category will receive a weekend for four in Annapolis, plus an overnight stay and two-day complimentary passes for four to King's Dominion.

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