It is Red Ribbon Week

October 23, 2009

“What is that”, you ask.
I hadn’t heard of it until a couple of years ago either, which is strange.
The Red Ribbon Coalition site claims:

Red Ribbon Week began after the kidnapping, torture and brutal murder of Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena in 1985.


The following year the California State PTA adopted the Red Ribbon Week campaign. Then, in 1988, Red Ribbon Week was recognized nationally with President Ronald and First Lady Nancy Reagan serving as the first Honorary Chairs.
Today, the Red Ribbon Week brings millions of people together to raise awareness regarding the need for alcohol, tobacco and other drug and violence prevention, early intervention, and treatment services. It is the largest, most visible prevention awareness campaign observed annually in the United States.

So I ask, have you ever heard of this campaign, DearReader? Ever participated in any events at your kids’ school or what not?

No Responses Yet to “It is Red Ribbon Week”

  1. I thought red ribbons were for HIV/AIDS awareness. Never heard of this before.


  2. Anonymous Says:

    Wow. Just wow. My son’s school really got into red ribbon week. All the kids wearing red all week. Red everywhere. I also thought it had something to do with HIV or breast cancer or some other ribbony cause.
    I’m all for drugfree schools, prevention, education, intervention, etc. But I’m not crazy about introducing a campaign to a bunch of 5 year olds that started with a brutal kidnapping/torture/murder. I can only hope they didn’t go into how it got started.


  3. Stan Taylor Says:

    I got the email below from my son’s (charter) elementary school today. I rolled my eyes and trashed it.
    When my daughter was in fifth grade, I believe, they did DARE at her school. I loved the irony of sitting at the kitchen table with my evening glass of wine while she spouted all the dangers of drinking.
    Red Ribbon Week
    Elementary Rally
    Yes, I can
    Live a Drug Free Life!
    You’re Invited!
    Tuesday, October 27th: 8:30 – 9:15 AM
    Magnolia Gym
    Students in K-5 will do short presentations on the character traits needed to live a drug free life!


  4. KB Says:

    My schools always did red ribbon week–it was just a focus on being “drug-free” and whatnot. We would wear these red ribbons all week and probably have a school gathering or something to tell us about standing up to peer pressure. It was very much like a yearly DARE refresher course. There was always more emphasis on illegal drugs than alcohol (I actually never remember having to learn the dangers of alcohol at school until a college online thingy, although it’s not like I didn’t figure out what alcoholism was before then.)
    They never told us about the gruesome inspiration for the week, and I don’t really remember a lot of emphasis on violence. The whole thing is a lot creepier now that I know.
    The memory that stands out to me the most is that the ribbons were mass-produced, and cheap. They weren’t the small folded-over ribbons you always see for every type of cancer, illness, or sundry cause–they were one thick strip of ribbon, maybe 2 in. x 4 in., that was bright red with gold lettering that said something like, “Drug free’s the way to be!” or something cheesy like that. You would pin them on you so they were flat, with the message showing, with a safety pin. Like I said, they were cheap, so my goal every year was to try to make it to the end of the week without it fraying at the end too much. This was hard, because you know when you see a loose string, you really want to pull it, and there was always one dangling off that ribbon, calling to me…


  5. Whomever1 Says:

    Los Angeles Unified has declared this Red Ribbon Week for drug and violence-free schools. At the school where I teach we were all supposed to wear red shirts today, red or “crazy” socks Monday, and red or crazy hats the next day. Some teachers wore red; I didn’t notice any unusual number of students doing so. But we’re a special education high school, so not in the usual target group anyway.


  6. Dan Says:

    I remember doing this as a kid growing up in the late 80’s/early 90’s in California. My dad worked in drug and alcohol prevention, so it was a big deal to him.


  7. Laura Says:

    I remember something called “Red Ribbon Week” happening while I was in elementary/middle school (I’m now 25), but I didn’t remember the drugs angle. I would have thought it was for HIV/AIDS awareness. I do remember endless “don’t do drugs” lectures, though. Holding a blackened lung in a plastic bag, looking at examples of drug paraphernalia…


  8. I am troubled by the transparently propagandistic conflation of drugs and violence. Does this program intend to explain to children that the overwhelmingly vast majority of violence associated with illegal drug use occurs solely because the drugs are illegal, because there is an militaristic War on Drugs that little-dick cops love because it lets them pretend they are AWESOME PATRIOTIC SOLDIERS WITH HUGE COCKS, and not because of any intrinsic property of the drugs themselves?


  9. HGGirl Says:

    Yep, we had red ribbon week when I was in elementary school. I remember one slogan was “Drug Free and Proud!” At least that one wasn’t so cheesy it rhymed. Is it humanly possible to come up with a non-cheesy slogan for a dependence-free lifestyle?


  10. Tsu Dho Nimh Says:

    Looking out the window, I see flying swine. Egads, I’m agreeing with PhysioProf!
    The massive “war on drugs” is killing thousands of people, not because the drugs are making people kill each other, but because the MONEY stream of the illegal drug trade is big enough to warrant killing people over.
    War on Drugs = US Government price support for La Familia de Michoacan, and other drug gangs.
    If cocaine, meth, heroin and other addictive drugs were legal, cheap, and came with the strings attached of having to get un-addicted the bottom would fall out of the drug trade.
    Right now, there are long waiting lists for every cheap or free addiction treatment center I know of in this area. There’s no shortage of kidnappings, killings and other crimes related to drug smuggling … done by people who for the moat part are not addicts, just seller and enforcers for the drug gangs.


  11. Ne Says:

    we have drug free week every year. I think it is good to have it bc it help stop so many teens from drinking and driving. it also prevent so many teenage accidents. i like having red ribbon week it is fun to me i dont drink but i do do tobacoo products just cigs not anything serious i am a good girl i dont do much bad stuff like that just occationaly


  12. Mike Pascoe Says:

    Our community has participated in Red Ribbon Week for several years, going back to when I was in elementary school. This week is used as an opportunity to take a visible stand against drugs and to show your personal commitment to a drug-free lifestyle through the symbol of the red ribbon ( ).
    This week is recognized through official proclamations made by our city council and school district board of directors. It is very inspiring to hear from these community elected officials how thankful they are that we provide a preventative voice in our community.
    I feel very fortunate to have been a part of this week growing up. I definitely view this week as an opportunity to communicate with your children what your expectations are regarding their use of drugs and alcohol. It’s fairly likely that your child will encounter a situation where drugs are accessible, what will they do in that situation? I would ask them if I were you, why not during/following Red Ribbon Week?
    You can view the activities of our local community during this week on our organization’s website –
    – Mike Pascoe


  13. Kendra Says:

    Red Ribbon Week is a great event to promote drug prevention in your community. Our site has many valuable resources for planning and implementing Red Ribbon Week activities.


  14. Michael Says:

    There are plenty of fun giveaways for Red Ribbon Week 2010 that will help teach kids that there are better things to do than drugs.


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