Balloon teaches dangers of drugs

Published 12:24 am Thursday, January 31, 2008

NATCHEZ — Back in October, Adam King released one of 350 red balloons into the air as part of West Primary School’s Drug Free week.

A kindergarten student, King, 6, went back to learning how to write his name and numbers.

But on Monday, King received a letter about his balloon, which had a message reading, “I’m proud to be drug free; if you find this balloon, please send it back to me,” attached to it.

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Another student, Mize High School senior David Bunkes, found the balloon at his hunting camp in Forest the day after Thanksgiving, and returned it to King through the mail Monday.

In the short note, Bunkes encouraged King to stay drug free.

“I am 18 — almost 19 — and I have lost family to the effects of drug use and abuse,” Bunkes said in his note. “Please keep God, family and school at the top of your life.”

Working on his response to Bunkes letter, King said he remembers the lessons he learned during Drug Free Week and he plans to stay drug free.

The drugs a doctor gives you are good drugs, but the drugs you get on the street are bad drugs, King said.

There is another reason King said he doesn’t want to have any part of street drugs, though.

“You might get shot,” he said.

This is not the first time a Drug Free Week balloon has been returned to the school, West Primary Guidance Counselor Angela Reynolds said.

“A man brought back a balloon he found in a hunting camp along Mississippi 33,” Reynolds said. “He brought it with a big bag of M&Ms for the kids.”

As for King, he said he would continue to tell his family and friends to stay drug free.

“I want them to stay my friends,” he said.