S.A.D.D Club Asks Us: Are You Promoting Safe Decisions?


Carolyn Walsh '16

Montrose School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions Club (S.A.D.D.) has become more prominent in its efforts to promote safety as we see instances of tragedies among our youth every day on the news. Directed by Montrose’s command-center staff member, Mrs. Howard, S.A.D.D. members are proud to be part of such a positive, forward-moving club that encourages students to think through their decisions and act wisely in high-pressure situations.

Although Montrose sends consistent messages to help students steer away from destructive activities, it is always a good reminder to keep in mind that we can help others live safe lives by encouraging our peers to do the same. There are many little safety decisions that go into our day, such as using seat belts, driving within the speed limit etc.

Just recently, some of our own students got into an accident in which one of the passengers was not wearing a seatbelt. Thankfully, no one was seriously injured; however, this goes to show that you can never predict the dangers ahead, and we must actively take precautions to protect ourselves from these dangers.

Not only does our school’s S.A.D.D. chapter send a great message, it also has a great story behind how it came about. Maureen Howard, the club’s founder, has her own personal connection to the organization and what it stands for. She explains, “In 1994, my daughter Maura, was only 19 when she was killed by a drunk driver. My family and I have been involved with M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and S.A.D.D. since we lost Maura. My first connection with S.A.D.D. was when Maura’s siblings (she was the oldest of 9) belonged to the club at King Philip High School.”

Mrs. Howard went on to tell how King Phillip’s hosts a Walk of Tears in memory of Maura every year to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving, as well as the importance of making safe decisions. The money raised goes towards a great cause, scholarships for students who are members of S.A.D.D. Mrs. Howard started Montrose’s own club with hopes of encouraging our students to make healthy decisions as well.

As a first year member of S.A.D.D. club, I was interested to hear what drove the other members that are part of it to join. Coming from a public high school, I had much more exposure to peers who made destructive decisions. Although many Montrosians do not have this same exposure, I believe we can equally help spread the message to our friends in schools that do not have the same nurturing qualities that Montrose possesses. One of the club’s head members, Marie Lacke, says she encourages more students at Montrose to consider joining our S.A.D.D. club to help the cause actively.

Many students at Montrose are vaguely aware of S.A.D.D. club, but do not know exactly what it entails. Mrs. Howard and club member Marie Lacke ‘16 explain that it is an officially recognized state and national-wide chapter where students openly discuss topics about destructive decisions and good deeds we see in the news. The members use these daily observations as learning tools. As Mrs. Howard puts it, “We are not born losers or winners, we are born choosers. We always stress it is up to each member to make good decisions.” Each year S.A.D.D. club hosts a Wellness Fair in which each member is given a topic to research and present to their fellow members and to the rest of the school. The club also coordinates a yearly blood drive.

One of the club’s more prominent achievements this year was their day promoting safe driver awareness called the “Fasten Show.” The S.A.D.D. members wore duct tape that mimicked seat belts around school, encouraging students to “Rock The Belt” and not forget to fasten their seat belts before hitting the roads. We can all do our part in promoting safe living, even if you are not a part of S.A.D.D. club.