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Archive for Thursday, November 5, 2009

Kansas father, son bring good behavior program to Lawrence junior high school

South Junior High pupils listen to music, watch videos of prisoners

South Junior High students watch a video of an interview with a prison inmate as he describes the hardships and sadness of being in jail. The video was part of the Road to Freedom program Thursday, presented by Tom Bevard and his son, Randy, that incorporated rock music and messages of staying off drugs and alcohol and avoiding jail.

South Junior High students watch a video of an interview with a prison inmate as he describes the hardships and sadness of being in jail. The video was part of the Road to Freedom program Thursday, presented by Tom Bevard and his son, Randy, that incorporated rock music and messages of staying off drugs and alcohol and avoiding jail.

November 5, 2009

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Kansas father, son bring good behavior program to Lawrence junior high school

Tom Bevard and his son, Randy, started the Road To Freedom program. They travel to Kansas middle schools and junior highs to talk to students about staying out of trouble. Enlarge video

Tom Bevard, who travels around Kansas visiting inmates in prisons, has noticed a disturbing trend.

“(We) realized that a lot of our population in our prison system was younger and younger,” Bevard said. “We have about 35 percent of the inmates in Kansas are less than 29 years old. Almost 90 percent is drug- and alcohol-abuse related.”

So Bevard and his son, Randy, started the Road To Freedom program. They travel to Kansas middle schools and junior highs to talk to students about staying out of trouble. But they needed a hook to grab the attention of gymnasiums full of kids.

“We play a lot of guitar,” Randy said. “We just want to show kids they can invest in music instead of drugs or something they shouldn’t do.”

An hour-long presentation at South Junior High Thursday included rocking tunes and videos from men and women who are incarcerated in state penitentiaries. For the past 14 years, Bevard has done outreach work through his group, Freedom Ministries, based in Iola.

“(The videos) opened my eyes to see that when they’re in prison, they still have the opinion telling people they shouldn’t do drugs,” ninth-grader Nick Bullock said. “They know their mistakes and they learned from them.”

Tom and Randy have been talking to kids for about two years and this was their first stop in Lawrence. They want to leave a lasting impact.

“Hopefully, it’s a deterrent,” Bevard said. “It’s not just a deterrent that brings the negative part of the inmates speaking, but also the positive part of the music.”

Eighth-grader Puja Shah thought it was a glimpse of the consequences of going down the wrong path.

“It gives us all an idea of what is going to happen if we did something like that,” Puja said. “Learning it now really helps everybody else know that it’s not safe to do.”

Comments

Sagecasey 4 years, 5 months ago

Is it only me? I bring up the video and prefacing the video is an advertisement for Prairie Band Casino. This story is about helping kids and LJW/Channel 6 have an advertisement for gambling to preface the story. The advertising dollars are more important than the message to kids apparently.

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RKLOG 4 years, 5 months ago

These kids are "bored straight."

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rodentgirl16 4 years, 5 months ago

Um, what should I have gotten out of what you were saying? As I've said, the photo struck me as funny and I decided to comment on it. I probably should have said, "Wow, this sounds like a wholesome program that will prevent children such as my own from committing crime due to these two guys exceptional musical abilities." However, that would be a lie, and it is boring. If it helps inspire one kid, that's wonderful, but it's not a special interest story like the two kids from Eudora helping one another. That was an amazing, inspiring story.
You know who a really good school speaker is/was? Randy Nadler. He used to travel around and give presentations about different places he traveled in the world and he was a definite inspiration, even if he was gruff and somewhat grouchy, much like you. I still think about him. Maybe Simon and Garfunkel up there will do the same. Enjoy this lovely day!

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fiercesomeus 4 years, 5 months ago

I guess that is the only thing you got out of what I said, Figures

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rodentgirl16 4 years, 5 months ago

Oh, and speaking of griping and striking people down, you're the only one calling people losers on here.

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rodentgirl16 4 years, 5 months ago

Oh lighten up! You can honestly tell me you enjoyed those programs back in the day? It's a funny picture and it's Friday so take your grudge somewhere else, or better yet, don't read the comments if you're going to freak out!

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fiercesomeus 4 years, 5 months ago

you know all this cutting down and griping about what is going on in this city all of you have lost your respect on this board. can you believe it, making comments about someone going into our schools to help our kids and all you can do is strike people down, get lost and go somewhere else, losers

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rodentgirl16 4 years, 5 months ago

Those were awesome! My music teacher in high school used to team up with his wife and sing and they always reminded me of those two.

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OldEnuf2BYurDad 4 years, 5 months ago

Did anyone ever see those SNL skits that featured the husband and wife musical team that performed in the middle schools? Hilarious.

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rodentgirl16 4 years, 5 months ago

Actually, the photo reminds me of the days when we were forced to sit through motivational assemblies at school. We shared about the same level of excitement, except for when Miss Kansas came and all the guys freaked out.

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rodentgirl16 4 years, 5 months ago

Somebody calm those kids down! They are getting out of control based on the photo. These two are clearly motivating them for the future.

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mdrndgtl 4 years, 5 months ago

Please Randy, save yourself from a lifetime of ridicule, stop singing songs with your Dad...

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