Does anyone else remember when Red Ribbon Week meant you were given a red ribbon and wore it all week to school? And McGruff the Crime Dog told us that winners say no to drugs? It sure has changed a lot since I was in school and I’m sure the kids have much more fun with it now!
Since Red Ribbon Week is next week, I thought we should focus on it for this week’s post. If you don’t know much about the program’s background, you should definitely have a look at the official website located here.
The National Red Ribbon campaign was actually started in 1985 by the National Family Partnership in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. Agent Camarena believed that just one person could make a difference, and he was right. After his murder, people began wearing red ribbons as a “symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America.” Out of this, an entire movement was born that still goes strong today. Every year for one week in October the Red Ribbon campaign strives to educate children about the dangers of drug use and encourage participation in drug-free activities.
Here at Dodd Elementary, the school has planned out a full week of activities to highlight the dangers of drugs in an engaging way for the kids.
Monday is crazy hair or crazy hat date because “drugs make you crazy in the head.”
Tuesday is pajamas days because “it’s my dream to be drug free.”
Wednesday is dress like a spy day because we don’t want to “let drugs sneak up on you.”
Thursday is dress like a superhero day because “superheroes don’t do drugs!”
Friday is costume or black/orange day because we want to “say booooo to drugs.”
It’s easy to think that drugs is a problem your child will only have to deal with when they are older so you don’t have to deal with it now, but it’s important to start the conversation early. Talk to your children about drugs and their destructive side effects and how to effectively stay away from them now, before they have peers or even friends influencing them to try them. Let’s remember Agent Camarena’s belief that even though he was only one person, he could make a difference, and let’s keep proving him right.