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Red Ribbon Week starts Monday

Troy City Schools will join 80 million others across the nation this week in drug-free education.

“For two decades, Red Ribbon Week has been used by law enforcement, educators and community leaders to teach children and youth an important lesson: ‘Say no to drugs. Say yes to healthy lifestyles,’” said Troy Police Chief Anthony Everage.

Last Wednesday, Troy Mayor Jimmy Lunsford declared this week to be Red Ribbon Week in the city of Troy.

Local law enforcement will visit area classrooms to provide drug awareness and prevention lessons to school children.

“This year, we would like to make your children aware that staying healthy and drug free is a positive choice they can make themselves,” Everage said. “Now, more than ever, we must continue to wage war on drugs in our communities.”

As part of Red Ribbon Week each year, the city holds an essay contest for eighth grade students at Charles Henderson Middle School and Pike Liberal Arts School.

This year’s topic was “Today’s choices for a better tomorrow.”

“The Red Ribbon week essay competition is a great opportunity to promote drug-free schools in our community,” Lunsford said. “Eighth-graders are at a very impressionable age. They are about to enter high school and will face a tremendous amount of peer pressure.”

Lunsford said it is important for these children to be influenced positively and learn how to say no to alcohol, tobacco and other drugs.

The winner of the essay contest will be announced this week at the winner’s school, and he or she will win a $50 savings bond from Troy Bank and Trust and will read their essay at a city council meeting.

Everage said Red Ribbon Week began in 1985, after drug traffickers in Mexico killed a federal drug enforcement agent.

“Red Ribbon Week is celebrated by thousands of schools and organizations nationwide,” Everage said. “Plan now to have your children join millions of others across the country that says with pride, ‘The Choice for Me is Drug Free.’”