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Students lobby for litter program


Franklin County students lobby for a litter program in the county during the commission work session Monday night.| Nathan Strickland/FCT


Students from across the Franklin County School systems gathered Monday evening to encourage the Franklin County Commission to enforce tougher litter laws inside county lines.

County sixth grade students have banded together to form TAG (Talented and Gifted), a group whose message is to educate people on what can be done to stop litter besides just picking it up.

Seven students representing Vina, Belgreen, Tharptown, Phil Campbell and East Franklin presented posters and speeches’ explaining the effects litter has on the environment, wildlife, economy and the visual scene of the county.

The group believes that while allowing inmates to pick up roadside litter is a great idea and very much appreciated, that alone will not solve the litter problems we face in the county. The group also believes that even though there are litter laws in place, those laws should be more strictly enforced than they are being at this time. The group asked the County Commission to make more of an effort to catch “litterbugs” and to fight this widespread problem in Franklin County.

Phil Campbell elementary student J. J. McCormick, 12, said the main reason he has joined the group is to save the animals.

“I really believe this will help the wildlife,” he said. “I am a part of the litter patrol that picks up litter around the schools. I believe there is a lot we can do to help prevent the litter problem. Today we are all going to present speeches, along with our power-points and posters to help educate people about the harmful effects of litter.”

Gifted specialists Debra Spillers and Sandra Coan sponsor the team and has guided the group to get involved in different events and meetings to help spread the litter message.

“We know that just picking up litter will not solve the problem,” Coan said. “Education is the key to preventing litter and protecting our natural resources. We want to do our part in promoting “Alabama the Beautiful” and keeping Franklin county a picturesque.”

Franklin County Probate Judge Barry Moore said the commission has been working on programs to control the litter and he appreciates the students for coming out and sharing their thoughts with the commission.

“We as adults need to learn about the litter problem and we highly commend you all for presenting your efforts to us,” he said.

Spillers said Red Bay students were unable to attend, but were able to set up a display during the Franklin County Teen Day and will be presenting their own presentation to the Red Bay city council at some point.