By: Stolie Erickson| Writer
October 24, 2019
Last week, San Clemente High School took part in the nationwide celebration of Red Ribbon Week! This campaign was formed years ago; however, many are unaware of the historical context of the week. It began as a tribute to a drug enforcement administration agent who had been kidnapped, tortured, and murdered when working undercover. Red Ribbon Week is a prevention week for drug, alcohol, and violence in order to raise awareness across the nation; taking place from October 23 to October 31 each year. Red Ribbon Week is greatly publicized throughout the nation, but it is particularly recognized here in our small town community.
Locally, San Clemente High puts on multiple occasions and events to enforce the idea that “drug use is life abuse.” Red ribbon bracelets are passed out to each and every student, encouraging them to live a healthy, drug free life, despite peer pressure and other means of influence occurring in the education system, and for that matter, life. It is not unlikely that you’ve seen on of these bracelets yourself, as they are given by local schools to kids of all ages, at all grade levels.
“The bracelets serve as a visible symbol that you pledge to be drug free,” Principal Carter said. “For years, several stores would give out something small to students who stopped by and were wearing the bracelets.”
To kick off the occasion, ASB starts the week off by having students voluntarily sign a poster at lunch that says “I pledge to be drug free” in front of the library. Later in the afternoon, a red ribbon parade takes place on Del Mar Street in which local teens march to express their stand against drug use. Roughly 200 people marched in the parade this year, one of the highest amounts of participants in recent years. Ages range from kindergarten to high schoolers, while there are supporters of all ages surrounding and watching the parade take place. Here, San Clemente has worked to assimilate the prevention of drug use into children’s minds early on.
“Tuesday we[ASB] tie red ribbons on the handles of junior and seniors cars as a reminder for ‘mothers against drunk driving,'” junior Gina LeCause said, “emphasizing that students driving high and or drunk can result in an injury of themselves or another.”
Students were encouraged to wear red this past Friday to spread the red ribbon message. Overall, Red Ribbon Week is an influential and inspiring part of October, spreading a positive message and the move away from drugs.