Red Ribbon week set for last week in October


photo or infographic by courtesy of STUCO

SUPPORT RED RIBBON WEEK. Each day next week has a theme.

The idea of red ribbon week and spreading awareness of the effect of drugs in schools is a very common concept, but few people know where the idea comes from. In 1985, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was brutally murdered by drug traffickers he was investigating in Mexico. His friends in his hometown, Henry Lozano and Congressman Duncan Hunter, created “Camarena Clubs” to honor his sacrifice. They used red ribbons to show their objection to drug use. The tradition spread around the country and is now honored in schools on the last week of October, encouraging young adults to say no to drugs. 

The high school’s tradition of dressing up for red ribbon week continues with themes that are typical to the event such as “rally in red as we stand up to drugs – wear red,” but there will also be funny themes such as “minions unite against drugs.” Many students are planning their outfits for each day. 

“Honestly, I’m really prepared for frat boy day,” sophomore Shay Ryan said. “I got the whole thing down. I got the backward hat, those headphones with cups on the end, I have baggy sweat pants, and big shirts, I’m perfect for frat boy day.”

In years passed, there have been certain themes that were crowd favorites, and many students are discouraged that certain ones will not be returning, as well as what took their place. 

“I am so mad that they changed it,” junior Bethany Lurch said. “I enjoy dressing up in costumes instead of dressing as a frat boy. I also feel like people are going to take that way too far.”

Though the dress-up days are a fun and creative way to honor red ribbon week, it is important that people remember why they happen in the first place. 

“It is important to spread awareness,” freshman Alyssa Castro said.  “For most people, drugs mess up their lives. You can end up in jail, hurt really badly, or even dead.”

It is important for students to keep in mind what the true effects of drug use are as they have fun participating in the dress-up days. Each day is not picked at random, the themes are put a fun spin to spread awareness for a very serious topic. 

“Child drug users normally grow up unsuccessful in life because drugs overpower them, and that is just not healthy,” Ryan said. “It’s not a good idea to do drugs as a kid. It can cause a lot of problems and get you addicted, and addiction is not great.”

Above all, saying no to drugs is what people need to prioritize during the week of honoring Enrique “Kiki” Camarena’s sacrifice. The uniqueness of each outfit should remind people not to follow the crowd when it comes to drugs. 

“As a person, you have to know when to be a  leader and when to be a follower,” freshman Isis Canales said. “When it comes to drugs, you have to take the lead and not follow in someone elseś steps. You don’t want to be in other people’s mistakes, you want to be your own person.”