De Kalb, Miss. "Up! That's what I want y'all to do; stand up against drugs."
That was the message De Kalb Police Chief Steven Jackson had for West Kemper Elementary School's pre-school through 3rd grade students. As part of Red Ribbon Week activities, he spoke to them about the importance of standing up against drugs, and says that by getting the message to the kids, it's sure to reach the whole family.
"We, as the beholders of peace in Kemper County, we're trying to make sure that we address the issues; not only to the people as far as laws are concerned, but to children so they can understand and then we'll have something we can build on for future reference."
While Chief Jackson spoke to the younger students, Kemper County Sheriff James Moore went classroom to classroom talking to every 4th through 6th grade student about the same things. He believes speaking to this age group is crucial.
"If they learn about drugs, and what they can do to them at an early age, we'll have a good outcome that they won't get onto these things, and have a good life."
The school counselor, Janice Neal, organized this week's activities to celebrate being both drug and bully free. She agrees with Jackson and Moore on the fact that it's important to get the drug free message out as early as possible, and she adds that having someone the children look up to speak to them helps bring home the message.
"Our children have a lot of respect for law enforcement, therefore we want people that are in high positions to let our students know that drugs are not the way."
The students released balloons with drug free pledges inside them, and Red Ribbon Week activities will continue through Friday.