A spirit week has just come to a close. Known as “Red Ribbon Week”, this event started on Wednesday the 23rd and ended on the 30th. Posters were hung on the walls and announcements were made during 7th hour. However, it was not just any spirit week where you dress up funny, there was an important reason behind it. Nonetheless, little to no information about the origin and reason for the special week was provided.
Therefore, a student and teacher were asked the question, “Do you have any idea what the point of Red Ribbon Week is?” Savannah Ericsson (7), the student, answered, “I don’t know.” Furthermore, just like Savannah, one of the new social studies teachers, Mr. Close said, “No, I don’t know.” This isn’t by any means their fault, Savannah nor Mr. Close ever had a reason to randomly search for the answer to this question. For that reason, if anyone else didn’t know, the point of Red Ribbon Week is to raise awareness of both the violence from and effect of drugs.
Next, another student and teacher were asked, “Are you aware of why Red Ribbon Week became a thing?” Matthew Gibson (8) answered, “To raise drug awareness.” Similarly, Ms. Reyes (a new math teacher) said, “It became a thing in the 1980’s, when the Drug Free campaign was going on.” Both of these answers are semi-correct. Yet again, the fault that they didn’t know the full answer cannot be placed on Matthew and Ms. Reyes. On the grounds that others didn’t know, here’s a little story. Just as Ms. Reyes said, it all started in the 1980’s. According to Thesun.co.uk, a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent, Enrique (Kiki) Camarena, was working undercover in Mexico. Sadly, on February 7, 1985, he was captured. Two days later (February 9th) he died after being tortured, his body was not found until about a month later.
Enraged by the death of this young agent, adults and children alike began wearing red ribbons as well as spread the word on drugs in his honor. Hence, “Red Ribbon Week” was born. Hopefully, even though the spirit week is over, this information provides context as to why the spirit days were all based around drug prevention.
By: Peyton Erb
Photo Credits: Peyton Erb