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2017 Red Ribbon Week encourages students to stay away from drugs

From+left+to+right%3A+Duncan+Cain%2C+Sophia+Kersten%2C+Paige+Smith%2C+and+Casey+Anderson+pose+for+a+picture+on+Lei+Off+Drugs+Tuesday
From left to right: Duncan Cain, Sophia Kersten, Paige Smith, and Casey Anderson pose for a picture on Lei Off Drugs Tuesday

From left to right: Duncan Cain, Sophia Kersten, Paige Smith, and Casey Anderson pose for a picture on Lei Off Drugs Tuesday

From left to right: Duncan Cain, Sophia Kersten, Paige Smith, and Casey Anderson pose for a picture on Lei Off Drugs Tuesday

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Red Ribbon Week is one of the most eventful weeks of October, promoting the message of being drug-free! GBMS encouraged all students to dress up each day during the week of October 23-27 to express that we all promise to say no to drugs.

The Dolphin Echo staff asked Mrs. Fricks and Mrs. Debbie Hepworth, the school’s guidance counselors, how they decided to come up with dress-up days to express Red Ribbon Week. “Hopefully, they will realize how drugs can shatter your hopes and dreams and ruin your life,” says Mrs. Fricks. Our theme goes along with the #respectthephin school theme – it’s ‘Respect yourself – stay drug-free.’”  Monday’s theme was  “Be on a drug-free team,” where students wore a team jersey or shirt. During lunchtime, students received Red Ribbon Week bracelets to wear throughout the week. On Tuesday, it was “Lei off drugs.” Students wore Hawaiian shirts and leis. Wednesday was one of the most important dress up days. On this day, students wore red to show that they are “Proud to be drug-free.” Prizes were given out randomly for wearing red and the red bracelets. Thursday was the brightest day of all, where students wore neon to show that they are “Too bright for drugs.” Friday was another important day, in which students wore mismatched socks, to stand up against bullying. At lunch, students received fireball candy to “Stay fired up against drugs.”

Red Ribbon Week is an alcohol, tobacco, and other drug and violence prevention awareness campaign observed annually in October in the United States. The purpose of Red Ribbon week is to educate young people about the dangers of drugs and to encourage participation in drug prevention activities. This week is specifically red in response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, who was a Mexican-born American undercover agent for the United States Drug Enforcement Administration. He was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. In 1985, he was extremely close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline. On February 7, 1985, he was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade. Sometime after his death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Enrique’s high school friend Henry Lozano created “Camarena Clubs” in Enrique’s hometown of  Calexico, California. Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifice made by Enrique Camarena. These pledges were delivered to First Lady Nancy Reagan at a national conference of parents combating youth drug use. Several state parent organizations then called on community groups to wear red ribbons during the last week of October as a symbol of their drug-free commitment and to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America. The first Red Ribbon Week celebrations were held in La Mirada and Norwalk, California. In 1988, the National Family Partnership coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week, with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons.

Red Ribbon Week represents so many meanings, all of which everyone should respect. Everyone should stay drug, alcohol, and violence-free, to have a happy life.

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The student news site of Gulf Breeze Middle School
2017 Red Ribbon Week encourages students to stay away from drugs