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Schools celebrate Red Ribbon Week

On Monday, fourth-graders Conner Allen, Ethan Lee and Sammie Vaughn at Poplarville Upper Elementary pledged to be drug free. The pledge is one of many activities students will participate during the National Red Ribbon Week.  Photo by Cassandra Favre

On Monday, fourth-graders Conner Allen, Ethan Lee and Sammie Vaughn at Poplarville Upper Elementary pledged to be drug free. The pledge is one of many activities students will participate during the National Red Ribbon Week.
Photo by Cassandra Favre


This week students in the Poplarville and Pearl River Central school districts will be “Saying No to Drugs” during Red Ribbon week.
According to redribbon.org, the Red Ribbon campaign was founded in 1985 by a group of parents and students enraged by the murder of Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena.
Camarena was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985, the website states. To honor his memory and battle against illegal drugs, friends and family wore red satin badges. The National Family Partnership sponsored the first National Red Ribbon celebration in 1988.
In Poplarville, students at the upper elementary will be celebrating and pledging to be drug free, school nurse Julie Tyner said.
“The students will participate in theme days, a canned food drive to benefit Brothers Keeper Ministry and a door decorating and essay contest,” Tyner said.
Themes for this week include wearing red on Monday. On Tuesday they can wear silly or mismatched socks for “sock it to drugs.” Wednesday children can wear a hat for “put a cap on drugs.” Thursday’s theme is “Hairs to being drug free” where they can display a crazy hair style and on Friday they can wear their favorite team shirt for “team up against drugs.”
“The topic for the essay is ‘Drug Free I Can Be,’” Tyner said. “We discuss with the students what people can do with their lives if they remain drug free.”
Principal Lynn Payne said that the administration promotes healthy lifestyles year round throughout the community but students will be taking a closer look at living drug free through activities and competitions.
Fourth graders Conner Allen, Ethan Lee and Sammi Vaughn, along with their fellow students, signed a pledge to be drug free.
“This week, we remember the police officer that got killed in the line of duty by a drug cartel,” Allen said. “People shouldn’t do drugs because they can get sick or die.”
Lee said that this is a week that will prevent people from getting drunk and causing accidents.
“I don’t want anybody getting killed, that’s why I pledged to be drug free,” Lee said.
Nine-year-old Sammie Vaughn said drugs will make people sick or cause them to kill other people.
“I’m pledging to be drug free because if I started smoking or taking other drugs, other people could get sick, like second hand smoking,” Vaughn said.
The students at Pearl River Central High School will also participate in a variety of activities including wearing crazy hats and socks on Tuesday for “drug free from head to toe.”
On Wednesday students will say “Peace Out” to drugs by dressing up in 1960’s attire. Thursday is wear red day and there will be morning anti-drug assemblies. Also on Thursday there will be a zombie run/haunted house beginning at 2 p.m. The cost is $5 person. Friday the students can dress up in their Halloween costumes.
All week long the students will sign the drug free bulletin board and security council members will travel to the elementary schools to talk to children about being drug free, according to the school’s events calendar.
PRC Senior Alex Travis said that Red Ribbon Week is an event that aims to stop people from doing drugs.
“I believe it is a good event because it brings people together to try to stop others from doing drugs or help them with their drug problems,” Travis said. “Drugs harm your body. If you get caught with them, it ruins your life and you don’t get to make your own decisions anymore. Plus, drugs can kill you.”
Allie Counts is a sophomore and said this is a week to spread the word about all of the many dangers of doing drugs.
“This is a good event because it can prevent people from harming themselves by using drugs,” Counts said. “Drugs harm you in a lot of ways. They can not only ruin your life, but the lives of other people around you. Drug abuse can surely affect you and everything you do for the rest of your life.”
Learn more about Red Ribbon Week at www.redribbon.org.