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Students pledge to remain drug-free (video)

By Carolina Astrain
Nov. 2, 2013 at 6:02 a.m.


RED RIBBON WEEK

The National Family Partnership organized the first nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign in 1985 and sponsors the annual National Red Ribbon Celebration. Since its beginning, the red ribbon campaign has touched the lives of millions of people around the world.

In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing red ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness to the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

Source: RedRibbon.org

This year, Victoria public schools joined other schools across the nation to celebrate Red Ribbon Week.

The celebration, which spanned from Oct. 23 to Oct. 31, was widely acknowledged by VISD campuses with themed dress-up days including mustaches, red T-shirts and superhero costumes.

Third-grader Audra Schuck wore camouflage print and a gray, fuzzy beard to school Oct. 24 as part of Dudley Elementary School's efforts to get students excited about remaining drug free.

"People that take drugs get really crazy," Audra said. "And for some drugs, they can make you very ill."

Inside the elementary school cafeteria, students quietly ate their lunch - some wearing camo, some not.

"We are Dudley GT Magnet School," said a teacher who was clapping her hands to get the students' attention. "Let us show them how nice you can be."

The week's dress-up themes were organized by Dudley's counselor, Heather Williams.

Williams, 34, was also dressed in camouflage that day.

Williams said because of budget cuts suffered by Mid-Coast Family Services, a former partner of the district's Red Ribbon Week events, the number of educational opportunities for the students decreased this year.

"Unfortunately, that's true," said Ginny Stafford, Mid-Coast Family Services CEO. "We used to do a big production with kids in the area, but because we lost about half of our funding this year, we didn't have enough staff to do it."

But they were able to do some programs.

"They're still doing things around their campuses," Stafford said. "Some of them are doing pledge walls, and we're actually working on a zoo event."

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