Five questions: Red Ribbon Week
Connie Weltha, Tonganoxie Elementary School counselor, answers questions about national Red Ribbon Week.
Q: When is Red Ribbon Week?
A: Most area schools are observing it Oct. 22-26.
Q: What is Red Ribbon Week?
A: It’s a week dedicated to educating children about the dangers of substance abuse, whether it’s illegal drugs, alcohol or legal drugs used illegally, such as prescription pills. It gives communities an opportunity to make a stand against substance abuse.
Q: How did it start?
A: The Red Ribbon Campaign started after Drug Enforcement Administration agent Enrique Camarena was murdered by drug traffickers in Mexico City in 1985. This began the tradition of displaying red ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs.
Q: Why dedicate a week to drug awareness?
A: As we know, drug and alcohol abuse with our young people is one of the highest concerns in every community. Kids are looking for something, and they’re turning to drugs for answers. The sooner we can educate them the better. Red Ribbon Week also serves as a reminder to parents to be vigilant about their children’s activities.
Q: What can parents do to participate?
A: Kids aren’t just using illegal drugs. It’s drugs found in the home. Those are so accessible, and most people don’t notice when they go missing. We need to educate our kids. Studies show that children that do not fall into the patterns of drug and alcohol use are the ones that have the strongest relationship with their parents. We hope that opening the door to discussion at school will open the door at home, too.