Red Ribbon Week: Respect yourself – Be drug free

MARQUETTE — Students at a local high school are learning the importance of staying drug free, and making the commitment to each other. ABC 10’s Sarah Mac was at a local high school today in Marquette to find out what the kids learned and what they want to share with the community.

This week is Red Ribbon Week and students at local high schools across the U.P. are making a pledge against addiction. Staff at different high schools, like Marquette Alternative, are doing what they can to educate their students about substance abuse though different activities and speakers.

Guidance Counselor Jane Kyle says, “Well, we’ve had speakers from the community somebody from law enforcement and somebody from mental health, and they came in a gave their perspectives about how substance abuse can affect their lives in those areas.”

To show their commitment to staying drug free, students from Marquette Alternative wore red, tied red ribbons around trees in the neighborhood and signed a “Respect Yourself” banner. The banner is a physical symbol of what the kids have been learning all week, that you are never truly alone in the fight against substance abuse.

Alec Glenn, a Senior at Marquette Alternative, says, “You’re not alone, when it comes to addiction or battling addiction, and really there are people who are out there that care and will help, and if you need the help it’s there and you just got to ask.”

“You’re never alone in this, like there’s so many people that go through this stuff everyday – crazy stuff that, like, is hard to explain,” Senior, Harm Nix added, “but if you really talk to somebody, you can really let it out, and they can really help you, because everyone has problems.”

They learned different ways to say “no,” like leaving the area or making an excuse. The students shared that you are never too young nor too old to learn about ways to say “no,” or how to get help.

Alexis Wood, a Junior, says, “I don’t think you’re ever really too young to learn about something like addiction, because it is a problem, and everyone, I feel like everyone is affected by it, and if you aren’t affected by then someone around you is probably.”

Red Ribbon Week started in the mid 1980s and continues to have a week of national observance ever since.