Red Ribbon Week set in Hope Schools

HOPE – Addressing awareness of the various forms and abuses of drugs, alcohol and tobacco through positive education is the focus of Red Ribbon Week, Oct. 28 – 31, in the Hope Public Schools.

“Drug use and abuse ruins and takes lives,” HPS Superintendent Dr. Bobby Hart said. “Please help us celebrate with our students their pledge to be drug free.”

The national theme of the Red Ribbon Campaign for 2019 is “Send a Message: Stay Drug Free.”

“The theme is a call to action to speak out in support of healthy choices,” the Red Ribbon Campaign website states. “The theme is also a reminder that by staying drug free, you are sending a message to yourself and others about how much you value yourself, your overall health, your community, and your future.”

Plans on various campuses of the HPS emphasize attitudes toward drug abuse prevention and cessation from that theme.

–Hope High School will observe “Too Cool for Drugs” day Oct 28, with students wearing sunglasses; “Double Up Against Drugs” day Oct. 29, where students dress as “twins” or “twin” a faculty member; “Red Day” Oct. 30, showing solidarity with the color red; “Go ‘West’ on Drugs” day Oct. 31, using western wear themes to run drugs out of town; and “Team Up Against Drugs” day Nov. 1, using HHS school colors to show pride in drug awareness.

–Yerger Middle School will be “Proud to be Drug Free” by wearing red, white and blue on Oct. 28; will “Peace Out to Drugs” by wearing tie-dyed clothing Oct. 29; and, will wear camouflage on Oct. 30 to “Hide from Drugs.” Thursday, Oct. 31 will be “Think Pink Day” to support breast cancer awareness by wearing pink.

–Hope Academy of Public Service starts the week with “Dress for Success” day Oct 28, “Career Day” Oct. 29, “College Day” Oct. 30, “Hocus Pocus Drugs Aren’t Our Focus” day Oct. 31, and “Bobcat Day” Nov. 1.

–Beryl Henry Elementary School will celebrate “Red-Y for a Drug Free Life” by wearing all red clothing on Oct. 28 , “You Won’t See Us Doing Drugs” day by wearing camouflage on Oct. 29 “We’re Too Bright for Drugs” day by wearing neon colors or bright shirts, sunglasses or hats with school uniform pants on Oct. 30, “Give Drugs a Boo” day by wearing Halloween costuming on Oct. 31, and “Give Drugs the Boot” day in western attire on Nov. 1.

–Clinton Primary School goes red to be “Red-y to Live Drug Free” on Oct. 28; and, students will wear camouflage Oct. 29 to “Join the Drug Free Army; while Oct. 30 is “Put a Cap on Drugs” Day with students wearing caps all day. Oct. 31 is “Give Drugs the Boo” Day with Halloween costumes, including a costume parade at 9 a.m. in the CPS car line. And, Nov. 1 is “Too Bright To Do Drugs” Day, with students in neon colors.

While not part of the official Red Ribbon Week observance, the Arkansas Prevention Needs Assessment Study Survey will be conducted across the state during the month of November. The APNA is required of all Arkansas schools by the Arkansas Department of Human Services for all students in grades six, eight, 10 and 12. The survey is completely confidential and will be administered during a class period in the school day, according to the ADHS.

The survey collects data about behavior and health risks associated with alcohol, tobacco, and addictive drug use and violence which can result from those behaviors.

The Hope Public Schools also reminds parents the use of e-cigarettes, vape devices and JUUL devices is prohibited on HPS campuses and properties.

According to the website of the American Lung Association, use of these nicotine delivery devices among American youth has reached epidemic levels.

“No e-cigarette has been found to be safe and effective by FDA in helping smokers quit,” the ALA states.

Consequently, harmful effects of all three devices are considered equally dangerous and addictive.

“JUULs may look different, but they’re actually a type of e-cigarette,” the ALA site states.

The site notes the manufacturer of the JUUL device claims some of its products have about as much nicotine content as an entire pack of cigarettes.

“JUUL is more discrete and looks like a USB drive,” the ALA states. “Other e-cigarettes may look like phones.”

So-called “flavored” products are no different from other artificial nicotine delivery systems in their harmful potential. “E-cigarettes almost always contain harmful ingredients including nicotine,” the web site states

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