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PCES talk dangers of drugs during Red Ribbon Week

For Red Ribbon Week, an annual nationwide campaign to warn young people against drug use, Phil Campbell Elementary School went all out, observing special dress up days, making signs and hosting guest speakers.

A drug prevention team from Riverbend visited Wednesday, talking with each grade level, third through sixth, about the dangers of tobacco and showing “The Totally Disgusting Tobacco Gross Out Video,” from which students learned about the truly revolting effects of smoking and chewing tobacco.

PCES counselor Laura Voyles said she wants to impress about the children the long-lasting impact of drug usage. “They are exposed to a lot. They have to be aware of what’s going on and make those decisions at a much earlier age than when we were in school,” Voyles said. “It’s kind of scary … I want them to understand (drug usage) does permanent damage. If you’re talking about alcohol and marijuana, that does permanent damage to your brain cells. You don’t take it to the doctor and get it fixed – that’s what I told them. It does damage that can’t be repaired.

“The decisions they are making right now can affect the rest of their lives.”

Students made signs to parade around with during car-rider drop-off in the mornings, with messages like “Too Cool to do Drugs” and “Stomp Out Drugs.” Voyles said one hope is that the signs will open up a dialogue between parents and children about the dangers of drugs. “I want the parents to realize, ‘It’s time I have this conversation with my child’ … It’s in their world. I wish it wasn’t, but it’s in their world,” she said.

Students also participated in wearing red for Red Ribbon Week and wearing favorite team shirts to “team up against drugs.” Friday students signed a pledge to avoid drug usage.