West Virginia Attorney General Patrick Morrisey announced his office has displayed artwork by a student from Clay County at the State Capitol building, showcasing efforts to raise awareness of opioid abuse in the Attorney General’s most recent Kids Kick Opioids design contest.
The local entry on display was created by Jasmine Christensen. The Clay County student’s artwork is joined by that of Lydia Sauselein of Monroe County; Eden Smith, Jacob Allen Bennett, Morgan Armstrong and Riley Pollack of Pocahontas County; and Jacob P. James, Gavin Coleman and Laierra Webber of Raleigh County.
Their artwork was on display through October 4.
“Drug abuse needlessly claims too many lives. Our hope is the entries from these artistic students will bring greater awareness and change, and touch the minds and hearts of those who view them at the Capitol,” Attorney General Morrisey said. “These entries reveal not only the immense creativity and talent of our students — in some instances, their designs also show the heartbreaking situations that some students experience at home.”
The designs on display were created during the 2020-2021 school year by students then studying at the following schools: Clay Middle School, Mountain View Elementary and Middle School, Marlinton Middle School, Independence Middle School and Trap Hill Middle School.
The entry from Clay County and others around the region are among 67 regional winning entries chosen by judges.
Judges selected Liliona McKenzie Wright, of Rivesville Elementary/Middle School in Marion County as the statewide winner. Her design appeared in newspapers as the Attorney General’s latest public service announcement in July and remains on the office’s website, along with that of statewide runner-up Caitlin Modesitt, of Ravenswood Middle School in Jackson County.
Regional winning designs will be displayed on rotation with other regions at the Capitol through late November.
Kids Kick Opioids represents one of many initiatives through which the Attorney General has sought to combat West Virginia’s drug overdose death rate, including a lawsuit against the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration that achieved sweeping reforms to the nation’s drug quota system.
The Attorney General also has combated the opioid crisis with civil litigation, multistate initiatives, funding to target opioid abuse, criminal prosecutions, new technology, engagement with the faith-based community and education.
The West Virginia Board of Pharmacy, West Virginia Association of School Nurses and the Capitol Police assisted the Attorney General in judging the public service announcement contest.