William Koller giving a presentation

The Red Ribbon campaign is one of largest, and longest running, drug prevention campaign that the NFP (National Family Partnership) sponsors every year. Red Ribbon Week occurs from October 23rd to the 31st. The Red Ribbon campaign was started in response to the death of DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. On February 7, 1985, Enrique was going to have lunch with his wife, when five men kidnapped him. About a month later, his body was found, and it was discovered that he was tortured to death. People in his community were angered, so they started to wear red badges of satin. Parents started to form coalitions because they were sick of the destruction that alcohol and drugs were causing. They adopted the symbol of Camarena's memory, the red ribbon, to honor him. In 1988, the NFP sponsored the first Red Ribbon celebration, and they have been doing so ever since. The Red Ribbon campaign serves as a jump start for communities to inform the youth in their community about drugs and encourage them to participate in drug prevention related activities. It even has spread to the small town of Giltner. For Red Ribbon week, Giltner Public School students could wear red on Monday, October 25th, and we had an assembly where William Koller came to the school and talked about drug abuse and what it could do to the body, and they gave red ribbons for the students. On Tuesday, students can wear a hat so they are use their heads and don’t do drugs, Wednesday is “Color the School Pink” day, where students and staff can donate $1 to wear their best pink outfit to win a prize for breast cancer awareness, and on Thursday, students and staff can wear a Halloween costume to “scare away the drugs”. Ashley McCarter, the school guidance counselor for Giltner Public School, says that she has been advocating for Red Ribbon and drug awareness since high school and that she got more involved with it once she started working at Giltner. She thinks the most important thing about the Red Ribbon campaign is to inform students about drugs and alcohol and the dangers that come along with using those substances. She likes that she can have fun activities for the students to participate in. The thing she wants to achieve is informing students that there are other options to keep their body and mind safe and healthy. The number one thing that she thinks is important is that everyone in the school is here to help, and that students shouldn’t be afraid to get help. If you are a student, please be more aware about the things that you put into your body. It can really harm your physical health and your mental health, and could be detrimental to you in the long run.