From left to right back row: Shawn Grady, Sheehy, Ware and Pappas law firm; Dr. Julie Williams, Baylor College of Medicine; Tara Merida, Meador counselor; Beverly Bolton, Meador principal; Dr. Shiby Wilson, MD Anderson and Amy Clowers, Meador assistant principal with Meador third-graders.
Houston Bar Association Lawyer Shawn Grady teaches Meador students about the legal ramifications of drugs and alcohol.
By Melissa Trevizo
As part of the Houston Bar Association’s Interprofessional Drug Education Alliance (IDEA) Program, students from Atkinson, Freeman and Meador elementaries had the opportunity to hear from a team of doctors and lawyers, October 25 about the legal and physical effects of drugs and alcohol.
The physicians informed children on how drugs, alcohol and tobacco damage their minds and growing bodies, while attorneys discussed the perils of youth entering the criminal justice system.
At Meador, third grade students heard from lawyer Shawn Grady of Sheehy, Ware and Pappas law firm in Houston and doctors Shiby Wilson from MD Anderson and Julie Williams from Baylor College of Medicine.
"As a psychiatrist, I often see the consequences of drug use," Dr. Williams said. "This makes me passionate about educating children about drugs in hopes that they would make better choices for their future."
Atkinson fourth-graders were treated to presentations by HBA president Neil Kelly and Derick Mendoza of Linebarger, Goggan, Blair and Sampson in Houston and doctors Louis Gilbert and Jordan Owens of Baylor College of Medicine.
“Educating the public about legal issues is a central mission of the HBA. Children are the most vulnerable and valuable part of our communities, the HBA has partnered with Houston's medical profession for over 20 years to educate our community about the legal and medical consequences from the use and misuse of drugs,” Kelly said. “Lawyers and doctors not only tell, but also show with visual aids how drugs, alcohol, and tobacco can affect their growing bodies, their minds, and their futures. Educating them now can help them make better choices and help keep them on the path to being productive members of our community.”
The Houston Bar Association and the Houston medical community established the IDEA Program in 1992 with a primary focus of preparing students for the peer pressure they may face in middle school and beyond. Since that time, the IDEA Program has reached over 73,000 students in many local school districts in the Houston area.