12-year-olds say no to drug dealers

By Sophie Ryan -
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Two schoolboys were approached by strangers and offered drugs but had the courage to say no and tell an adult, thanks to the Life Education Trust's Harold the Giraffe.
Two schoolboys were approached by strangers and offered drugs but had the courage to say no and tell an adult, thanks to the Life Education Trust's Harold the Giraffe.

Two 12-year-old boys are being praised for calling to mind the advice of Harold the Giraffe when they were offered drugs from strangers on their way to school.

The Whangarei Intermediate School Year 7 students were approached by two strangers in their late teens and offered drugs on Friday morning.

The boys said no and went straight to the school office to tell a teacher.

One of the boys told his mother Harold the Giraffe, a puppet used as a learning tool with the Life Educa tion Trust, had visited Whangarei Intermediate School and taught them how to say no to drugs.

The Life Education Trust has been at Whangarei Intermediate School last week teaching the module called "From the Shadows" to the Year 7 classes about how to accept yourself and build resilience to the changing emotions and social pressures of growing up.

Life Education Trust educator in Whangarei Nadine Campbell said hearing how the boys had acted was rewarding.

"I think it's fantastic. It's why I do what I do, in the hope that one day a bell would go off in their heads," she said.

Whangarei Intermediate School principal Hayley Read said the boys acted superbly.

"They did exactly what they should have.

The mother of one of the Year 7 boys, who wished to remain anonymous, said she was frightened to hear what had happened, but proud of her son.

"I couldn't be more proud, it's clear he understands between right and wrong."

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