Sunday, October 21, 2012

Red Ribbon Rally - Drugs Don't Make Sense!

Fifth grade students at Austin Elementary recently had the opportunity to travel to the state capital in Austin to participate in a Red Ribbon Rally  supporting a drug free Texas.  After arriving at school at 4:45 a.m., students traveled to Austin where they joined other young learners from across the state in a March to the Capital.  There they were welcomed by Drug Enforcement Agency representatives who spoke to them about the importance of staying drug free.  They were also treated to a performance by HYPE, an inspirational anti-drug Hip-Hop dance group.  Students learned about the history of the Red Ribbon event and together, pledged to remain drug free and follow their dreams.

As part of the experience, fifth graders were asked to draft a legislative bill related to the impact of drug use on the children of Texas.  Our learners created a bill (shown below ) that spoke to the effect of smoking and second hand smoke on young children and on our environment.  The bill called for the prohibition of smoking in public parks and forests.
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Be Drug Free
Prevention of Smoking in Public Parks
                  An act concerning the use of smoke in public parks
1.      BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF TEXAS:
2.      PENAL CODE. TITLE 10. OFFENSES AGAINST PUBLIC HEALTH, SAFETY, AND MORALS.
3.      CHAPTER 48. CONDUCT AFFECTING PUBLIC HEALTH, SECTION 48.01. Smoking Tobacco
4.      A person may not be able to smoke in any public parks or forests.
                                                      
                                                      Why legislation is needed:

It will increase safety: Animals could get injured by eating or coming in contact with it. The risk of fires will increase. There will be secondhand smoke for other park visitors. It will decrease litter and air pollution.

Consequences if not passed: 

If this bill is not passed, there will be a greater chance for forest fires. Our parks will also be less attractive and enjoyable for non-smokers.  The safety of children, animals, and plant life will decrease because there is greater risk for burns and secondhand smoke. In summary, not passing this bill will lead to more dangers to our community and the environment.
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  After the rally, learners from across the state of Texas participated in a mock legislative session in which they defended their bills and participated in a legislative debate about each.  Our learners represented us well as they spoke passionately and effectively about their views.


                                                   
                                                     Austin Elementary Fifth Graders
 gather on the lawn before the March to the Capital.                                                                
 A huge thank you goes out to Dandi Wright Nance, who organized this event for the state of Texas. Mrs. Nance is Vice President at Sherry Matthews Advertising in Austin whose client, The Partnership for Drug Free Texas, sponsors this annual event. The children and families of Texas are grateful to Sherry Matthews Advertising, The Partnership for Drug Free Texas, and Mrs. Nance for their efforts in helping to spread the message that "Drugs Don't Make Sense!"

                                                                
                                                                                                         



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