It is often said to young people, ‘If your friend jumped off a bridge, would you too?’ Parents are known to ask this because they are aware that children are heavily influenced by their peer group. A social norm campaign utilizes this tendency to help young people become aware that their peers are typically NOT using alcohol or other illegal substances.
Saving Lives Camarillo has provided a yearlong social norm campaign called “Actuality” within the Adolfo Camarillo High School. Beginning in the spring semester of 2014-2015 and continuing for two semesters, the coalition will be delivering a social norm campaign entitled “The Real Deal” to the Monte Vista Middle School as well.
To begin the campaign, a school-wide survey is taken to determine a baseline of student use and attitude. Behavioral questions involve the use of tobacco, marijuana, other drugs, alcohol as well as abusing prescription medication. Youth are further asked about how and where these substances are gotten.
Attitudinal questions revolve around their feelings about school, the community and home. Values are determined by questions about violence, truancy, lying, stealing, bullying, as well as schoolwork and school in general.
The work then begins! The Real Deal Facilitator, a teacher, and the Director of Saving Lives Camarillo will begin weekly interactions with a group of youth from the school. First, the young people are educated about the ‘norms’ of their school. Next, the group and leaders begin a campaign to educate their peers. This effort takes a variety of forms – posters, competitions, videos, Facebook interactions, etc. – whatever the youth group determines will be the most effective to get the word out.
During the process group members learn leadership and communication skills. Their different talents in the areas of speaking, art, and marketing are exercised as well.
Towards the end of the second semester, a second survey is conducted with the identical questions. An impact study will determine if the youth have different use patterns as well as new opinions and values.
Responsible youth leading youth – the result of a social norm campaign!
5800 Santa Rosa Road, Suite 114
(805) 322-4753[email protected]
Camarillo, CA 93012