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Rugby Students To Celebrate Red Ribbon Week

October 23, 2015
Bryce Berginski - Tribune Reporter , Pierce County Tribune

Rugby school students are dressing up and pledging to be "drug-free" next week in honor of Red Ribbon Week.

This year's Red Ribbon Week goes from Monday, Oct. 26 to Friday, Oct. 30.

"It's pretty positive, the kids enjoy doing different things like this," said Rugby High School guidance counselor Julie Sjol.

Article Photos

Ely students (left to right) Peyton Hauck, Rylee Geiszler, Mykell Heidlebaugh, Kendyl Hager and Joey Wolf show off the clothes they will wear next week in honor of Red Ribbon Week, a drug-free initiative.

At Rugby High School, students will watch the video "Natural High" and discuss it in small groups. Students will also participate in themed dress-up days. On Monday, students will wear red. On Tuesday, students will "dress to impress" in career clothing. On Wednesday, students will "give drugs the slip" and wear slippers. Students will wear Panther colors (orange and black) on Thursday as part of "Team Up Against Drugs" day, and will wear Halloween costumes on Friday as part of "Scare Drugs Away" day.

"We happen to have home volleyball Tuesday and Thursday nights, so I thought that was fitting," Sjol said.

Students at Ely Elementary will also watch videos and participate in themed dress-up days. Students will red on Monday. On Tuesday the theme is "A Minion Reasons to be Drug-Free." Students that day will dress up as "minions" - based off of characters from the "Despicable Me" movie franchise. Students in grades three through six made "minions" and wrote in them their number one reasons for being drug-free. On Wednesday, students will dress as superheroes, dress in apparel for their dream jobs on Thursday (Dress to Impress), and wear Panther colors on Friday.

Ely counselor Jessica Grove said the theme to this year's Red Ribbon Week is one of self-respect.

"I take the approach as having respect for yourself, respect for your family and respect for your community," Grove said. "And if you're doing all three of those things, then drugs don't fit into that picture. [We're] not just pushing 'Don't do drugs because they're bad.' [we're pushing] 'Don't do drugs because you respect yourself ad want to be the best person you can be.'"

Students at Little Flower Catholic School will also participate in Red Ribbon Week festivities.

Students will receive a red ribbon they are to wear the whole week, and they will also receive "Think, Don't Drink" bracelets and "Panthers Show Good Character by Being Drug Free" bookmarkers. They will also sign pledges to be drug-free.

Sponsored by National Family Partnership, the Red Ribbon Campaign, which takes place Oct. 23-31, is a week in which people take a visible stand against drugs. It is the oldest and largest drug prevention program in the U.S.

The Red Ribbon campaign began after the 1985 death of Drug Enforcement Agency Special Agent Enrique S. "Kiki" Camerena. Camerena, who was 37 at the time, was working with the DEA's Guadalajara, Mexico office. He left the U.S. Consulate and was on his way to lunch with his wife when he was kidnapped by Mexican drug traffickers on Feb. 7, 1985. His body was found on March 5 of that year.

It was believed that Camerena had been tortured for two days before dying from a crushed skull.

Camerena's friends and neighbors began wearing ribbons of red satin in his memory. Parental coalitions soon took Camerena as a model and adopted the red ribbons.

The National Family Partnership sponsored the first red ribbon celebration on a national scale in 1988.

Since Red Ribbon Week's founding, 21 DEA agents and staffers have been killed in the line of duty. The most recent was Special Agent James Terry Watson, who was murdered June 21, 2013 during a robbery attempt in Bogota, Columbia.

 
 

 

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