Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Red Ribbon Week emphasizes drug awareness

Red Ribbon Week emphasizes drug awareness

By Patrick McCreless
The Alexcitty Outlook

Students had a change of pace Monday as area schools kicked off the beginning of Red Ribbon Week.

Throughout the week, schools all over the country will have different events each day designed to help keep children off drugs.

"We feel like it gives them a good introduction to drug awareness," said Marilyn Lewis of the Alexander City Board of Education.

Lewis also said because of this and other programs, she has seen the number of students who have used drugs decrease.

"We had to wear camouflage and there was an assembly at the high school to kick off Red Ribbon Week," said Dadeville's Councill Middle School counselor Melanie Mckinney.

According to Mckinney, students were encouraged to wear camouflage to symbolize "combat against drugs."

Tuesday, students will be allowed to wear baseball caps so they can "put a cap on drugs," Mckinney said.

United We Stand will be the theme for Wednesday as students wear red, white and blue clothing. Also that day, Chris Graebe from MTV's reality show "Road Rules" will speak about drug prevention.

Alexander City schools are having similar programs. Monday's theme was "Shade out drugs day," in which students got to wear sunglasses. Tuesday will be "Team up against drugs day," where all students can wear their favorite sports team's paraphernalia and on Wednesday, students are asked to bring canned foods that will be donated to charity.

Also visiting schools this week in conjunction with Red Ribbon Week is the Alexander City Police K-9 unit, according to officer James Orr. "Our K-9 unit will be there for a demonstration with our drug dogs," Orr said.

"They will demonstrate how the dog does various searches and different exercises."

And if that weren't enough, during the week, students at Jim Pearson Elementary School will get to celebrate the 25 birthday of Mcgruff the crime dog on Wednesday.

Visiting the school, says Lewis, will be Mcgruff, his nephew Scruff as well as other characters.

"They're going to give some safety messages to the kids plus some drug awareness information," Orr said.

Red Ribbon Week began in 1986 in honor of Drug Enforcement Agent Enrique Camarena, who was killed while trying to uncover the identities of key members of a Mexican drug cartel. Angered over his death and the destruction of drug abuse, people from his hometown of Calexico, California began wearing red ribbons. Other organizations soon picked up on the movement and encouraged others to wear ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to fight the use of illegal drugs.

For more information about how to get involved in Red Ribbon Week, visit the National Family Partnership's web site at National Family Partnership's website.

1 comment:

Altoid said...

I was just wondering, I am not opposed to the legalization of all drugs, but the consequences on children are to dire for me to imagine. I will admit that the drug war (as a whole) has failed and we have wasted gobs of money doing nothing but driving up demand and price, but what do we do to fix it. I don't have that answer, but I would like to know, is do you just support the legalization of marijuana, or other drugs? I am sorry, but your website is a little vague I just wondered what you thought. If we should not legalize ALL drugs then what should we do to fix the drug problems with HARD drugs, if like you say (and I agree) the drug war has failed. I have already admitted I don't know, but I am not running for Governor. Thanks for your time.