Students say up, up and away to drugs
Forty-two red balloons took off on a northeast wind Monday as a symbol of Stonewall Elementary School’s pledge to be drug-free.
“They look like red ants!” screamed second-grader Jordon Anderson as the balloons disappeared out of sight.
The launch was a kickoff to Red Ribbon Week — an alcohol, tobacco and drug prevention campaign observed in October in the United States.
For first-grader Alexis Woodward, it’s all about the color.
“I love that you get to wear red,” she said.
During the week, students across the country will participate in activities in the classroom aimed at keeping them drug-free. At Stonewall, students can dress up in different “crazy” clothing each day, from sweat suits to pajamas, as a way to show their commitment.
“It’s your way of showing you’re not going to do drugs when you get older. Or ever,” said fifth-grader Jackie Regan.
On Monday, the approximately 500 students at the school signed the balloons and wrote anti-drug slogans on them.
On their balloon, Logan Sandefur’s fifth-grade classmates wrote: “Face it, people. Drugs are bad.”
“It’s a time to speak out about drugs,” Logan said about the week.
Principal Darren Thomas said the balloons are meant to potentially inspire those who find them.
“You never know who might see the messages on the balloons,” he told the children at the launch. “They might be important to them.”
Before the launch, Thomas led the students in the recitation of the drug-free pledge.
As part of the week’s activities, members of Shenandoah Valley Young Marines are encouraging everyone to join them Thursday at the football field at Robert E. Aylor Middle School at 901 Aylor Road in Stephens City to form a human ribbon.
Participants should wear red and be at the school at 5:30 p.m. A picture will be taken at 6 p.m.
— Contact Rebecca Layne at email@example.com