Students in the Gainesville Independent School District observe the antidrug “Red Ribbon Week” through Friday at various campuses.
Red Ribbon Week is reportedly the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the country, organized by the National Family Partnership in 1988. Since that time, the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children.
An online resource explained that in 1997, the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse (now the Department of State Health Services) began committing resources to ensure the continuation of the Red Ribbon Campaign in Texas, as well as the hopes and beliefs behind this grassroots effort to protect children from the dangers of alcohol and other drugs.
Red Ribbon is a national event honoring Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration special agent who was killed in 1985 by drug traffickers. Soon after his death, “Camarena Clubs” were launched in high schools in California, and hundreds of students pledged to lead drug-free lives.
Two club members presented the “Camarena Club Proclamation” to Nancy Reagan, bringing it national attention.
Parent groups embraced the campaign, and in 1988, Congress proclaimed the first U.S. Red Ribbon Campaign.
“Red Ribbon Week” is observed each year and often in late October. Locally, schools are participating by way of “themed clothing” days — and the Gainesville ISD lineup follows:
Gainesville High School:
Today: “Be bright! Don't do drugs.” -Students wear bright colors to represent how smart they are for not doing drugs.
Thursday: “Lei off drugs!” Students wear Hawaiian leis.
Friday: “Team up against drugs.” Students wear jeans and their favorite sports jersey.
Gainesville Middle School:
Wednesday: “Give drugs the boot!” Students wear boots.
Thursday: “Black out drugs!” Students wear all black. (wear all black)
Friday: “I'm a Jeanius!” Students wear jeans.
Robert E. Lee Elementary School:
Wednesday: “Put a cap on drugs!” Students wear baseball caps or hats.
Thursday: “Give drugs the boot!” Students wear boots.
Friday: “I'm a Jeanius!”
W.E. Chalmers Elementary School:
Parents and guardians are welcome to join the “Red Ribbon Week” celebration. The school is conducting drug-free rallies every morning from 7:50 to 8:15 a.m.
During the rallies, there will be prize drawings for the students, and, on Friday only, prize drawings for the teachers/staff/parents as well. The school’s campaign theme song is “Paws-itively Drug Free,” to the tune of Queen’s “We will Rock You.”
Winners in a door decorating contest will be judged today, and the winners will be announced at the drug-free rally on Friday afternoon.
One class from each grade will be selected and the prize is a pizza party.
Today: “I’m too Cool for Drugs.” Students wear sunglasses.
Thursday: “I Hat it with Drugs and Bullies.” Students wear decorated hats.
Friday: “’Red Dee to Say NO to Drugs and Bullies.” Students wear red.