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Red Ribbon Week observed here

This year the observance of the Lamar County Schools Red Ribbon Week is being held through Oct. 25. Red Ribbon Week is a national campaign, which aims at teaching children the importance of being drug free. ’In a collaborative effort to help support The Lamar County schools and our community’s future, our children; the Lamar County sheriff’s office and the Barnesville police department have constructed an eight foot red ribbon that will be displayed on the front lawn at the courthouse for all to see,’ said LCSO communications director Suzanne Cooper. The theme for Red Ribbon Week this year is ‘Life Is All About Making Choices: Make The Right One!’ ’The choices we make on a daily basis are very important,’ said Cooper. ‘During this week, please discuss the importance of making positive choices with your children. Encourage discussion about the dangers of drug and alcohol use with your children. Remember it is our responsibility as educators, parents and law enforcement to ensure our children are provided with safe and healthy environments.’ She asks that businesses and homes display a Red Ribbon and people and wear one when they go out. ‘We want the community to contribute to this as well,’ said Family Connections Collaborative director Dorothy Carter. Its alcohol awareness strategy team plans to have signs in the schools, community and churches this week. In addition, the Carrera program at the Lamar County Activity Center has packages of information ready to get out. Monday, Oct. 21, was Choose to Wear Red Day. Students wore red to celebrate the beginning of Red Ribbon Week. Ribbons were distributed to students. Staff will share the history of Red Ribbon week with students as well as other important facts. Tuesday, Oct. 22, is Choose your Career Day. Students are wearing clothing that represents their future careers and listing reasons why using drugs can negatively impact their future career goals. Wednesday, Oct. 23, will be Choose to Shade out Drugs Day Students will wear sunglasses and list other things they can choose to do instead of drugs. Thursday, Oct. 24, will be Choose to Sock It to Drugs Day. Students will wear mixed and mismatched or silly socks. Friday Oct. 25, 2013 will be Choose to Have School Spirit Day. Students, faculty and staff will wear school colors or school spirit themed clothing to celebrate the final day of Red Ribbon week. Primary and elementary school students will take part in a poster contest and middle and high school students will take part in an essay writing contest. All posters and essays must be about making positive life choices and alcohol and drug awareness. School resource officers will visit schools and share announcements about the dangers of drugs and alcohol. Mondays’ middle and high school assembly will feature Frederick Bailey, author of Waiting on the Rain. Bailey will share the importance of making positive life choices with middle and high school students. Fifth graders will be special guests. The high school assembly will begin at 9 a.m. and the middle school assembly will begin at 1:30 p.m. At a high school assembly on Wednesday, ninth grade students will have a tobacco cancer survivor presentation. The history of Red Ribbon Week Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. Camarena worked his way through college, served in the Marines and became a police officer. When he decided to join the DEA his mother tried to talk him out of it. ’I’m only one person,’ he told her, ‘but I want to make a difference.’ The DEA sent Camarena, 37, to work undercover in Mexico, investigating a major drug cartel believed to include officers in the Mexican army, police and government. On Feb. 7, 1985, Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agent’s side and shoved him in a car. One month later, Camarena’s body was found. He had been tortured to death. In honor of Camarena and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, began forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the red ribbon. The National Family Partnership organized the first Nationwide Red Ribbon Campaign. Since then the campaign has reached millions of U.S. children and families. The NFP and its network of individuals and organizations continue to deliver his message of hope to millions of people every year through the National Red Ribbon Campaign.

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