|Scioto County, Ohio|
In fall 2016, Hykes and an English teacher colleague, Judy Ellsesser, began teaching the material to students at South Webster Junior-Senior High, a school of 650 students in Scioto County. "During English class, Ellsesser worked through the text with the students, thinking critically about the information. Then with Hykes in history, the students learned more about the political side of the crisis and the policies affecting the epidemic; they also learned about how they could get involved. The math teacher, Matthew Whitt, was also involved. He helped students analyze and understand the statistical information in the book documenting opioid use and deaths," Black reports.
The teachers also brought in guest speakers such as a judge who spoke about the spike in foster care and babies born addicted, as well as current efforts to focus on rehabilitation instead of punishment for drug offenders. U.S. Rep. Bill Johnson and Sen. Rob Portman of Ohio talked to the kids about how politics and government affect the area's opioid epidemic, and encouraged students to speak up on issues to their representatives.
The students became heavily engaged in the project, creating public service announcements and volunteering at the local hospital to hold babies born with an addiction. The teachers report that the project was a success with high community support, and that they intend to teach it again. "It is real-life stuff that shows students how these things shape their life and how they can have a role in it," Hykes told Black.