Peabody students kick off the annual week to declare themselves drug free and engage in other activities that look at the dangers of substance abuse Monday with a candid peer-to-peer discussion about decisions in high school.
Real Talk is an assembly at Higgins Middle School where senior members of the Health Advisory Council at Peabody Veterans Memorial High School plan and present a discussion with eighth-graders on positive and negative decisions they will face once in high school themselves.
The teens share their own experiences of what it’s like to be a student in high school who chooses not to drink, smoke or do drugs. Two sessions are held Monday in the Higgins auditorium -- 9:30 and 10:30 a.m.
"These kids hold themselves up as examples of students in Peabody who are choosing to live 'Above the Influence' of drugs and alcohol and other negative behaviors," says Sandi Drover, the outreach coordinator for the Healthy Peabody Collaborative.
Drover regularly works with the student council on carrying out Healthy Peabody's mission to change the environment in the city to discourage substance abuse. The local coalition also sponsors Red Ribbon Week along with the Health & Physical Education Department in the schools.
Other activities during the week usually involve students being able to wear red ribbons or bracelets as a way to declare themselves drug-free and essay or poster contests sponsored by the HPC in elementary, middle and high school (students have been able to rap out their entries, wax poetical or even create a PSA on video as well).