Rally at Texas State Capitol kicks off National Red Ribbon Week

Students' names line the Red Ribbon Week pledge wall outside the Texas State Capitol. (Steffi Lee/KXAN)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — More than 1,000 fifth graders from across Texas joined the Red Ribbon Rally kickoff event at the State Capitol, pledging to live drug free.

Students added their name to a pledge wall on the south side and also wrote letters to lawmakers. The Texas Health and Human Services Commission held the event.

Organizers like Iris Marie Martinez say they hope the message to stay drug free will continue inside the classroom.

“There’s a program called Substance Abuse Prevention that’s at the Health and Human Services Commission,” she said. “Basically what we do is we fund programs to do science-based curriculums that are skill based and they learn decision making, goal setting.”

Martinez also believes educators can help drive the conversation.

“I think teachers are the first kind of contact that the kids have on a daily basis and so when the kids are exposed to these messages, it only makes it stronger because that’s a positive adult role model that’s engaging with them,” Martinez said.

Texas schools will celebrate Red Ribbon Week from Oct. 23-31 this year.

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