October 24, 2005 – Posted at 4:19 p.m. CDT
JONESBORO, AR – Monday kicks off a very important day in schools across the country. It's the beginning of Red Ribbon Week, one of the most far-reaching and well-known drug prevention campaigns in America, as more than 80 million folks participate in red ribbon events.
With the marching band on the field, it may look like another Football Friday Night at the Westside School in Jonesboro. But these students aren't cheering for the team, they're listening to an important message.
“We're trying to target everybody, but mostly the younger kids because they are the ones that will have the most peer pressure,” said event organizer and Westside Senior Hunter Long.
More than 1600 students were on hand Monday for a message of a positive living. “We focus on medicines and not playing in the medicine cabinet or poisons and as we go up, we talk about cigarettes and alcohol because those are usually the things kids are offered first and then as it goes on up the grades, we talk about all the other drugs that are out there,” said school counselor Tammy Romaines.
And it's never to early to learn to say no.
“A lot of the kids think that's cool to do it, and so they will ask you and pressure you into doing it and say they are not going to be your friend,” said Westside Sophomore Hannah Allen, “But that's really no reason because if they do that they're not really your friends.”
“I learned that drugs are no good for the body as well as for your personality. They can affect the way you live and everything that's wrong with your body,” said fourth grader Christian Uran.