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Norwalk Students Take Drug-Free Vows

By: Mike Peal
Published:  March 19, 2013 

Students from across Norwalk vowed a drug free future Tuesday night at West Rocks middle school.

Tuesday marked the Courage to Speak Foundation’s ninth annual drug free family night, which aims to do exactly what it sounds like:  encourage families to stay drug free together.

“They tell you early childhood education is important,” says Mayor Richard Moccia.  “This education is equality important.”

The night is headed by foundation founder, Ginger Katz, who lost her son Ian to a drug overdose 16 years ago.

Katz presented her story to students earlier this year.  Tuesday, they paid back the favor with letters and artwork.

“When you’re younger and you did drugs, you look back on it,” says Brookside Elementary school fourth grader Aidan.  “And you say, ‘Man, why did I do that?'”

“[Drugs] mess with your mind,” says Valentina, a seventh grader at Ponus Ridge Middle School.  “And they get you addicted.  And it’ll get you more and more [addicted].”

Moccia says the night’s impact goes beyond measurement.

“We don’t know how to measure it other than the fact that, the more we can impress on young people that drugs take you down the [wrong] path,” he says.

“They can set goals,” says Norwalk Police Chief Thomas Kulhawik.  “And realize that they can be whatever the want to be, but drugs are going to put a big impediment to that.”

“I do not want to mess up my future,” Valentina says.  “I want to be successful.  And I know drugs will not help me with that.”