Batesville mother shares personal loss to keep kids off drugs

From Region 8 News at Six
Published: Oct. 24, 2023 at 5:39 PM CDT
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BATESVILLE, Ark. (KAIT) - A Batesville mother is sharing her personal loss to students in Independence County during Red Ribbon Week, hoping to keep students away from drugs.

Students across the nation are learning about the dangers of drugs during Red Ribbon Week, but Betty Rains wants more.

“The kids think it’s like some sort of celebration, they don’t really understand what that means,” she said.

Rains is bringing Plant the Promise to schools across Independence County. With some help, she brought tulip bulbs for students to plant at their schools. The bulbs have a special meaning.

“The bulbs will bloom in the spring, and they’ll be a beautiful reminder of the beauty of a drug-free life,” she said.

But Rains is bringing more than a promise. She’s also sharing a story of personal loss.

Rains lost her son, Tanner, in 2021 to an accidental fentanyl overdose. His face was on banners she brought to the schools. Some of those faces were as young as the students.

“I just wanted to make a bigger impact, put a face to what they’re actually doing.”

For Rains, it was about showing students how close the problem is to home.

She shared her son’s story, hoping to keep another student away from drugs.

“We typically get a chance to learn from our mistakes, but fentanyl is something you don’t get a chance to learn from,” she said.

Rains said she doesn’t want to see another student’s face on those banners, and she hopes those students won’t forget her son’s story.

“You’ve heard of turning your pain into purpose so that’s what I’m trying to accomplish,” she said.

Rains said over 5,000 tulips will be planted across Independence County Schools this week.

“They’re going to go by it and see it every time they come and go to class and go to school,” she said.