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Glen Fork students walk to raise awareness for the opioid epidemic

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GLEN FORK, WV (WOAY) –  Although the original plan was to walk through the community, the rain did not stop the students at Glen Fork Middle and Elementary School from participating in their very first Take Back the Community Walk against the opioid epidemic.

Almost 200 students dressed in red from grades K-8 at Glen Fork walked in and around the gym to march against the opioid epidemic and pledge to remain drug-free. 

“By showing them that we’re going to take a stand against drugs, we wanted them to realize that together, we can make a difference in this community and they’re young and it can start with them,” Brenda Shumate, the school’s principal, said.  

Those who are on the frontlines of the epidemic also were there to show support. 

“We’re here, you know, to give back like I said earlier and set a future plan,” Robert Tilley with the Upper Laurel Fire Rescue said.  

The overall goal is for the students to take this experience and take it out into their communities. 

“The walk shows that we’re taking a stand as a community against substance abuse because drugs and things like that can tear families apart. I have personally been affected by this and many other students in my class and this school have been affected by it,” Ian Blevins, an 8th grader, said. 

“We can start in our schools to take back our communities because it can affect so many things like grades drop and the attendance is worse,” Maria Morgan, another 8th grader, added. “It can cause so many problems and we just want to show that we can take that back and turn the negative into a positive,”  



Anna Saunders

Anna Saunders is a weekend reporter for WOAY. With a diploma from Princeton Senior High School and a mother from Fayette County, she is no stranger to the area. She received a degree in Media Arts and Design from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia and wanted to return home to start her career as a reporter.


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