All across East Texas this week, students of all ages are hearing the message to stay away from drugs. It's part of Red Ribbon week, where schools focus on drug awareness and education.
But, a big part of the program is getting parents involved. At Longview's South Ward Elementary, parents and students spent the lunch hour together Monday to have fun and speak about drugs. Parents say it's a message that needs to be delivered at a young age.
Delana Maldonado is proud of the message her daughter is learning.
"She did an essay about not using drugs, and she understands now a little bit better it's not something you play around with. We just feel we want what's best for our kids," Maldonado said.
Daughter Analisa adds: "I know that I love my mom and we have a big family that does not use drugs."
In the Hallsville school district, their Red Ribbon programs mirror the headlines. With athletes found so often to be using performance enhancing drugs, they decided that needed to be part of the lesson plan.
One Hallsville athlete says "juicing" to get ahead is a serious concern for students today.
German Perez, Hallsville Senior: "Some people do find loopholes in how to get away with it. At times you can tell someone's on it, and it just kind of takes away from the hard work you put in to know you're not on that stuff. It bothers you sometimes."
Hallsville ISD hosted the president of the National Center For Drug-Free Sports to deliver the message. The district has recently revised its drug testing policy to make it even tougher.