Meridian elementary schools kicked off Red Ribbon Week with a big rally Monday at Crestwood Elementary School.
Students began the week with a pledge to stay drug-free. Other activities will also follow at Parkview, Oakland Heights, Poplar Springs, and Harris campuses.
The theme for Red Ribbon Week is "Freedom is drug free".
"We want them to understand the importance of being committed to living a drug-free life," said Young. "We have to catch them at this age so they will realize that it's important for them to start good habits earlier. And then those habits will continue throughout their lives."
Red Ribbon Week is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country.
It also commemorates the death of DEA agent Enrique Camarena, who died at the hands of drug traffickers in Mexico while fighting the battle against illegal drugs.