MASON COUNTY — Across the country, schools are celebrating Red Ribbon Week as students are educated about drug prevention.
Schools in Mason County are being given supplies and speakers from the Mason County Drug Prevention Coalition and are encouraged to make the week unique for their students.
Ashton Elementary is taking full advantage of those resources and had Tim White, regional prevention coordinator for Prestera, speak to their students. White interacted with the students, illustrating how drugs, alcohol, and tobacco abuse can hold back a person from achieving their dreams.
Haylee is a third grade student at Ashton that wants to be a veterinarian some day, along with other hopes for her future. White wrote all of these hopes and dreams on a white board, and had her run to it, which she did easily. Then one student in a chair was tied to Haylee, representing tobacco. With the weight of that student, Haylee had a much harder time reaching the board. This was repeated with alcohol and drug abuse, culminating in Haylee being unable to reach her dreams with the weight of three students, explained White.
“What changed? Did her dreams change? Did her effort change?” asked White. “No, the weight of her choices held her back from reaching her dreams.”
White used this illustration to show the kids that these decisions did not make someone a bad person, but a person that made some bad choices in their life. These choices would back a person from reaching their dreams and goals in life, showing the consequences of drug abuse.
“You win or lose by the way you choose,” said all of the students.
Red Ribbon Week started in 1985 after the murder of a DEA agent by drug traffickers in Mexico City to promote intolerance of drug use. Since then, it has grown nationally and has been an annual event in Mason County for a number of years.
The national campaign encourages people to display a red ribbon to participate. Parents should ask their children what they did in school as a part of Red Ribbon Week and having conversations with their students about drug abuse. For more information about Red Ribbon Week visit www.redribbon.org.
Reach Morgan McKinniss at 740-446-2342 ext 2108.