Next week when you see school-children in red - or adults sporting red ribbons - you'll know that they're fighters. They're part of the battle against drugs.
Salt Lake County schools are involved in an anti-drug week sponsored by the National Federation of Parents for Drug-Free Youth.From Oct. 24 to Oct. 28, students will wear red ribbons as a symbol of their pledge to be drug free. On Oct. 26, students across the county - and state - will wear red clothing as another statement of their commitment to avoiding drugs.
Murray School District - Anti-drug school banners will be delivered to each school by a group of runners Oct. 25. Superintendent Ron Stephens will start the run. Drug-free runs will be sponsored at elementary and junior high schools Oct. 27. Elementary children will join hands and encircle their school buildings Oct. 28, singing patriotic songs and a specially written anti-drug song. At Murray High School, the activities will be under the direction of the Peer Leadership Team, student body officers and PTA. They will include an assembly with a motivational speaker and a dance.
Salt Lake City School District - The Peer Leadership Teams will be promoting anti-drug activities throughout the week at each school. At 2 p.m. Oct. 24, about 150 peer leaders will attend a conference at Highland High School where they will be trained in drug prevention. Salt Lake Police Chief Mike Chabries will be keynote speaker. The conference will also feature a celebrity football game. At 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25, also in Highland High School, a panel of experts will discuss a report on troubled children in Utah titled "Success Insurance for Youth." Speakers will be the study's author, Richard Maxfield of the Utah Board of Education, along with representatives of social service organizations, the juvenile courts and education.
Throughout the week, schools will feature various activities aimed at getting out an anti-drug message. They will include passing out candy with anti-drug messages, drug prevention talks and assemblies by experts and decorating schools with anti-drug banners and posters. Each elementary school principal has received a curriculum outlining anti-drug activities. Elementary schoolchildren will receive iron-on transfers saying "Be Smart, Don't Start" and "It's OK to Say No!"
Jordan School District - West Jordan High School band and PRIDE team, which represents all the district high schools, will participate in a 9 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony Oct. 24 at Eagle Gate Plaza. Students will decorate the plaza with red ribbons as well.
The doors of district offices will sport red bows and students in every school will have red ribbons available to them, along with book markers inscribed "The choice for me is drug-free." Peer leader teams in four high schools are preparing events to publicize the week and many individual schools will feature posters, assemblies, drama presentations, special PTA meetings, puppet shows and other events.
Granite School District - Rolling Meadows School has planned several events, including three appearances by West High School's SELF Inc. on Oct. 25, 9 a.m. to noon. A skit will be presented Oct. 26 by a third-grade class, titled "Play It Smart," and on the same date, representatives of Charter Canyon Hospital will give programs at 1:15 and 2:15 p.m. A rally also is planned by student council officers, who will lead children on a walk around the school.
Pioneer Elementary also has an assembly planned. Many other individual schools have planned special events to emphasize the wisdom of avoiding drug abuse, including wearing red clothing and ribbons to create a "red-letter week," said Tom Busselberg, district spokesman.