Red Ribbon Week

By: Jada Carter

The Red Ribbon Campaign is to educate young children, teenagers, and adults the dangers and consequences of illegal drugs. Since 1985, it has become an annual tradition all over the world to wear a red ribbon for a week to symbolize their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

 According to, Enrique “Kiki” Camarena was murdered in 1985 fighting against illegal drugs. Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) agent in Mexico. One day Camarena was on his way out of his office to go eat lunch with his wife when five men walked up next to Camarena and beat him to death, his body was found a month later.

 Enrique Camarena is the inspiration and the story behind why the Red Ribbon Campaign was created. After Camarena was murdered, parents and young adults were enraged, so to honor Camarena and his fight towards illegal drugs, neighbors and friends wore a satin red patch on their clothing. Well, his story reached the United States and everyone started wearing red as well. I asked a few teachers and students how they feel about red ribbon week and what it stands for.

 “When I think of Red Ribbon week, I think of tying a red ribbon in my hair and wearing lots of red,” said Jacob Broadhead.

“I like the fact that they do it for all grades instead of just elementary school,” said another student, Jacob Hanks.

“I think it’s a good idea to remind students how dangerous drugs and alcohol are,” said Coach Peery.
“It’s a good thing to make them think about decisions they could make. Drugs are everywhere, but we’re given the option to say yes or no,” said Miss. Peaslee.

 When I was in elementary school, I thought red ribbon week was rather lame. After hearing about the background and the history of Red Ribbon week, it makes me respect and have compassion to those who are fighting illegal drugs just like Enrique Camarena did. Here is an inspiring quote I would like to share.

 “Life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it.” –Unknown

 To honor those who died in the fight for illegal drugs wear red each year during Red Ribbon Week.