Ribbons have been hung, theme days are well underway and wristbands given out as students of Oakdale Joint Unified School District participate in the National Red Ribbon Week.
The tradition of Red Ribbon Week began informally in 1985 following the death of Enrique (Kiki) Camarena, a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent. Camarena was murdered in February of that year, he was 37. His body was found one month following a kidnapping which was a result of his efforts to stop the drug trade in Guadalajara, Mexico.
It is reported that prior to becoming an agent, Camarena’s mother had asked him not to pursue Drug Enforcement as a career, to which he shared, he “wanted to make a difference.”
An idea of “making a difference” now impacts children throughout the United States, as a week is dedicated to educating students of all ages on the effects and dangers of a drug-filled lifestyle.
This year’s events are being observed from Monday, Oct. 21 through Friday, Oct. 25.
Oakdale High School will focus on information with daily e-mail blasts, as well as a T-shirt hand out on Thursday, Oct. 24 for all students to wear in unity on Friday. Oakdale Junior High will host a guest speaker Wednesday morning, while the elementary schools host dress up days such as: Throw-Back Thursday, Don’t Get Lost in the Fog; Crazy Socks, Sock It To Drugs and Dress to Impress.
Each campus is encouraged to host events as well as offer age appropriate education each day to raise awareness to its student body.