You guys do a great job discussing a very sensitive and ever changing topic that middle school students have to deal with.
I am always nervous about the response my students will give to these types of presentations. I have a group of ESE students and anything emotional generally gets met with laughing and avoiding through goofing around. In the last few years, we have been able to have some genuine discussion before and after the presentation.
We talk about how this is a personal subject for me. I taught one of the students whose story of losing his life to an accidental overdose is in the presentation. We talk about how things have changed over the years of presenting – the way students use or take different drugs, prescription drugs rising, vaping, etc. I gave some personal stories from high school and college, how I handled them, etc.
The kids are genuinely interested, and I believe they like hearing personal stories about the subject. I really believe that most students benefited from hearing about the 911 Good Samaritan aspect of calling 911 for a friend. I believe most students feel they are in too deep and cannot go for help without ruining their life in this situation. The NOPE presentation does a good job discussing this.
One other thing we talked of afterward: I have seen this presentation maybe four or five times…always walking away feeling I have seen something powerful. I now have an 18 month old daughter. This changes everything in the presentation. You feel completely different as a parent watching this and thinking about it. I talked a little to the kids about this and we discussed how their parents may be affected by anything that happens. We all are in agreement that a parent should not outlive their kid – and how their parents would feel.