Schools across the country are winding up the fifth annual Red Ribbon Week, a national public-awareness campaign to promote drug-free choices and healthy lifestyles. This year's theme is "My Choice, Drug-Free."
The Red Ribbon campaign was launched in 1985, after the killing of federal agent Enrique Camarena by drug traffickers.
In the Tustin Unified School District, Foothill High School is handing out drug awareness folders, holding a Wear Red Day and encouraging students to tie red ribbons to their cars. Tustin High students are attaching bumper stickers and red ribbons to their cars. In addition, the district has formed a Drug-Free Advisory Council, a 10-member committee composed of professionals who have an interest or expertise in combatting substance abuse within the school district.
Check with your local schools and school districts to find out about their various planned activities. Red Ribbon Week runs Oct. 21-28.
On the Fullerton High School campus this month, yellow ribbons are tied around trees, teacher podiums and wrists. "We're just trying to make a statement during this Middle East crisis," said Aarie Loeb, a 16-year-old junior who started the project.
"All we're trying to say is that we want the soldiers to come home safely," Loeb said. "We aren't advocating the situation or protesting it."
Said Loeb's assistant, 17-year-old senior Theresa Bustamonte: "We've received a lot of support from the community. We're received donations of ribbon and our administration is behind us all the way. We are also trying to write letters to the soldiers and send them books."
Both girls are members of the school's student body council, which sponsors the project.
"I'd like to see the government get out of war altogether and leave the whole field to private industry."--Joseph Heller, American author