G.R.E.A.T Graduation - WHLT 22 Connecting the Pine Belt

G.R.E.A.T Graduation

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It's a simple message...Gang Resistant Education And Training....with an important meaning.

"We pretty much try to teach the kids how to stay away from gangs and how to better make the best decisions," Officer Monica Dobbins with the Hattiesburg Police Department said.

http://www.great-online.org/

Motivational speaker Pastor Dwayne Higgason paid a visit today to a group of fifth graders with Hattiesburg Public Schools.

These kids are on track to graduate from high school in 2021. But along the way, the students are bound to face some tough choices.

"Do not be deceived," was his message. "Bad company corrupts good morals."

Pastor Higgason demonstrated what the students can do if they stand together against bullying and gangs.

Three students were easily able to break one pencil at a time, but 20 at one time was impossible.

Students and teachers said the six week program called G.R.E.A.T was effective.

"I learned never to join gangs," 5th Grader Amerionna Jackson said.  "Never take drugs, and if you don't take drugs, you won't end up in jail, which is a good thing."

"They were exposed to things that they wouldn't be exposed to otherwise outside of their home life and the community," Rowan Elementary Teacher Denise Minor said.

All participants were required to write an essay about how they could change their school for the better.  One winner from each school won a brand new bicycle.

"I wrote a way to change our school and make it a better place is to use the rules to be a G.R.E.A.T," Essay Winner Lyric Miller said.

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