Huntington students promote 'Red Ribbon Week' despite dwindling funds

Students demonstrated "drunken vision" with goggles
Students demonstrated "drunken vision" with goggles

HUNTINGTON, TX (KTRE) - From Pre-K to senior high, drug prevention specialists say it's never too soon to send students the "drug free" message.

It may seem like these Huntington high school students are just having fun, but they're learning a very serious lesson.

"We were trying to weave in and out of the cones without the drunk goggles and then we put the drunk goggles on and tried to do the same thing, which was extremely hard because it was just like being drunk," said Erica Wright, Huntington high school student.

"When they're getting to see and dress up and participate in the community with these drug free activities, they're actually learning more than sitting in a classroom," said Shelly West, Intervention Specialist.

Funding for Red Ribbon Week is dwindling.

In fact, the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council just took on the campaign for Angelina County in addition to 14 others.

A lack of funds has also caused many schools to cut back on the program.

"We're still trying to raise that awareness and get the word out that we still, no matter what the funding is we love our kids and we want them to be safe and happy," said Phyllis Grandgeorge, Executive Director of ADAC.

In two days, 80,000 East Texas students have already received the drug free message. That number is expected to increase by week's end.

"Anything that will stop them for a second to raise awareness to have them talking about the fact that they don't want to use drugs," said Grandgeorge.

"Instead of being so serious, they are getting the point through funniness which most kids like, so they are getting the point still," said high school student Kinder Malone.

Teaching prevention in these hallways is much cheaper in the long run than paying for treatment.

"We save tax dollars by keeping kids off drugs and if people would begin to see that and those who make those decisions could see that prevention works," said Grandgeorge.

By the end of Red Ribbon Week, 100,000 students across East Texas will receive the drug-free message.

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