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Red Ribbon Week
Posted in , on October 24, 2023

Students may dress a little different during Red Ribbon Week

You may see Arlington ISD students dressing and looking a little different this week, but it’s all for a good reason.

A crazy sock day or a hat day or a jersey day all serve as great reminders that it’s once again Red Ribbon Week.

Red Ribbon Week is the largest and longest-running drug-use prevention program in the country. The goal is to provide awareness, advocacy and resources for that cause. It’s certainly a cause the Arlington ISD has gotten behind starting with our littlest learners.

“It’s especially important for the younger learners to start to know that drugs are negative,” said Arlington ISD district intervention specialist Dr. Angela Lawrence. “It’s just about making that connection of how drugs impact our minds and bodies. We share that same message across the district.”

Last week the district’s intervention team visited elementaries throughout the district. One of the messages they’ve been working on is One Pill Can Kill, which is related to the national problem of fentanyl.

It was timely because last week was also Fentanyl Poisoning Awareness Week, the first time the state has done that.

The district also provides fentanyl education for students in grades six through 12. That education is part of House Bill 3908 from the state legislature. The district also produced its own fentanyl video using teachers and coaches from the Arlington ISD.

“It’s a national epidemic right now,” Lawrence said. “Last year 109,000 people lost their lives to drug overdoses. More than 60% of all pills seized had a lethal dose of fentanyl in them. That’s why it’s so important to share with our community that one pill can kill.”

Those numbers mean that a student who gets a pill that they don’t know where it came from is more likely to get a pill that can kill them than not. And there are pills that look like candy and even sidewalk chalk. Students must know the impact of what they are putting in their bodies.

“We share stories of the 1- and 2-year-old that OD after getting it at home,” Lawrence said. “Just the unintentional OD rates across the country are staggering.”

The guidance and counseling department in the Arlington ISD has worked hard to spread the word about the dangers of fentanyl and vaping. The district produced a fentanyl video that includes Pearcy STEM Academy counselor Carmen Nephew, whose daughter died of an accidental fentanyl overdose. You can see that full video here.

“Carmen Nephew lost her only child to vaping,” Lawrence said. “It hits so close to home. It’s a huge problem.”

So is vaping. The district launched an anti-vaping campaign last year. You can find that full video here.

You can find everything out about the National Red Ribbon Week campaign here.