For the upper grades, some districts discuss drug issues in their science and social science classes. For issues like steroids, some districts rely on physical education teachers or coaches to inform students about the risks. Richard Evers, director of child welfare, attendance and secondary education at Charter Oak Unified, said that steroids are being discussed at the high school as part of the Health and Careers course the students are required to take. The issue is important because of student athletes, he added. Officials said that revisions to the drug education curriculum are revised based on new information from state and county health officials. Ultimately, convincing students of making good personal choices and leading a healthy lifestyle should be a topic of discussion everyday. Various district officials point out that national campaigns commemorated over one week focuses on broader issues and that having lively and insightful discussions among teacher and students in class is just as effective. “We pay special attention during the week but it has be on the everyone’s mind every day,” Evers said. [email protected] (626) 962-8811 Ext. 2108 www.insidesocal.com/schools160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Strother added that in kindergarten classes, a medicine cabinet filled with “fake” medicine such as cough drops or aspirin, is part of the drug education discussions. “We keep it simple,” she said. The Red Ribbon Campaign was started when drug traffickers in Mexico City killed DEA agent Kiki Camarena in 1985. Ileana Reyes, director of communications for Informed Families, with the National Family Foundation, which sponsors the Red Ribbon program, said that the organization helps schools plan the weeklong activities. But the district is responsible for setting the agenda of the celebration, she said. School districts have district-wide drug education programs tailored for each grade, such as the Too Good for Drugs and Too Good for Violence, which is offered in Pomona and Rowland unified, and stresses making good decisions and not succumbing to peer pressure. With schools nationwide starting Red Ribbon Week celebrations today, good decisions and living a drug- and alcohol-free life will be stressed in thousands of classrooms. Local education officials laud the initiative – the nation’s oldest and largest drug-prevention program – that encourages school districts to partner with cities in getting the message to students. But they also said promoting a healthy lifestyle needs to be part of the daily classroom discussions, not just tied to weeklong campaigns like Red Ribbon Week. Starting the discussions at an early age will also benefit students, educators said. “We have to teach them the difference between appropriate drugs prescribed by the doctor and drug abuse, which is characterized by addictive-type behavior,” said Carol Strother, supervisor of health services at Baldwin Park Unified.