This week in our school we are celebrating Red Ribbon Week.
Red Ribbon Week is our nation's oldest and largest drug prevention program. It is generally acknowledged during the last week of October and is spent sharing ways to help our communities stay drug free. I learned a little more about this program this year, and wondered how many of you knew the history behind Red Ribbon Week.
In the mid-1980's Special Agent Kiki Camarena, of the Drug Enforcement Administration, was working undercover to expose a multi-billion dollar drug cartel coming out of Mexico. S.A. Camarena was originally from Mexico, having moved to the United States as a young boy. He wanted to make a difference and eventually worked his way through education to become a police officer, and later begin working for DEA. He was extremely close to cracking this case when he was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by the Mexican drug traffickers.
Not long after, one of his high school friends, along with a Congressman from California, began Camarena Clubs, which educated children about being drug-free. These children made pledges to stay drug-free. The pledges were given to First Lady Nancy Reagan, who then began the "Just Say No" clubs in elementary schools. The first official Red Ribbon Week was held in October of 1988. (For perspective, I was in 4th grade, and was a proud member of the Just Say No club at my school.)
My school is participating in several of the Red Ribbon activities. Tomorrow is Wear Red day, and we have a guest speaker coming to the school. One of our county sheriffs is coming to speak to the children about being drug free, general safety tips, and Halloween safety, given that this holiday is a few days away.
I hope you will help me in encouraging your family and friends to stay DRUG FREE!!