By Wendy Gragg
Killeen Daily Herald
From wearing backwards clothes to stories of drunken-driving victims, schools across the area are finding different ways to take part in Red Ribbon Week.
The annual Red Ribbon Campaign, spawned from the murder of a Drug Enforcement Agency agent in 1985, aims to get people across the nation talking and thinking about substance abuse prevention.
Central Texas College kicked off the anti-drug week Monday with a visit from the Central Texas Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving.
MADD representatives were at the school for a couple of hours, speaking to students about victims rights and sharing the stories of drunken-driving victims. Depart-ment of Public Safety Troopers shared with the campus the latest laws regarding drunken driving.
MADD also used the opportunity to honor the CTC international students who were killed in a drunken-driving accident in 2001.
Though Red Ribbon Week is not a MADD initiative, Kristin Ramsey, MADD victims advocate, said its a perfect time for MADD to reach people as well.
We have the same message drug and alchohol awareness, she said.
The week also gives MADD an early start to its Tie One On for safety campaign, which officially begins in November. Ramsey said MADD especially tries to spread its message from Thanksgiving to New Years Day, because of the high rate of drunken-driving fatalities in that timespan.
MADD distributed red ribbons and information Monday and will be doing so at CTC again today. From 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., CTC Campus Police and MADD will provide activities, information and ribbons to students. The interactive program, Alcohol 101, will also be available for viewing.
On Wednesday, from from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Helen Knapp and members of the Substance Abuse Resource Center from Fort Hood will be on campus with visual aids and short videos. Short classes on alcohol, marijuana, cocaine and inhalants will be available throughout the day. The Mental Health Student Association and Student Services will be providing a variety of activities, Thursday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Drug abuse prevention is also a theme for the youngest students this week, as elementary schools in the area try to get across the message early. Reeces Creek Elementary School students will have their clothes on backwards today, symbolizing turning their backs on drugs. Similar gimmicks continue throughout the week. Ira Cross Elementary School will cap the week off with a Say no to drugs assembly.
Contact Wendy Gragg at firstname.lastname@example.org