Our view: Week promotes drug-free society

Oct. 25, 2012 @ 11:18 AM

Over the course of this week, schools and other entities across North Carolina, and the nation, are observing Red Ribbon Week.

The week is meant to be a reflection on the dangers of drugs, alcohol and tobacco abuse among both the young and the old.

The message being touted across the country over the course of the week is "The Best Me Is Drug-Free."

At Spindale Elementary, students took the week a step further by implementing a western-style theme and a slogan of "Give drugs the boot!" And, for the entirety of the week, the kids have also participated in similar-themed days.

School staff and administration have utilized week to promote being drug and alcohol free.

The actions have also taken place Forrest Hunt and Cliffside elementary schools throughout the week.

Staff at each of the schools have talked to their students about the dangers of using drugs and alcohol.

The timing of this message could not have been better for our youth.

We hope that students pay particular attention to the wisdom of what is said and resolve to never get involved with drugs.

The origins of Red Ribbon Week began in tragedy, according to the Red Ribbon Week website.

In 1985, DEA Special Agent Enrique "Kiki" Camarena was murdered by drug traffickers because of his work in breaking up a Mexican drug cartel that was worth several millions of dollars.

In his hometown of Calexico, Calif., people were seen wearing red ribbons in a united front to commemorate his death and to speak out against drugs.

That instance started a nationwide campaign against illegal drugs. In 1981, the National Family Partnership began the first nationwide Red Ribbon Week. It was later proclaimed by Congress and chaired by then-First Lady Nancy Reagan.

By wearing red ribbons, we show our opposition to illegal drugs as well as pay respect to those who have sacrificed in the name of ousting those same drugs.

While part of this week includes a competition for those to decorate their homes with the national message of "The Best Me Is Drug-Free." They can submit a photo of their decorated home to www.redribbon.org/contest by Nov. 2, with voting by the public to go on until Nov. 16.

The winner receives a $1,000 grant for drug prevention at their school as well as a new iPad for themselves.

That seems like a great award to pledge to be drug-free.

However, to us, the best reward is maintaining a drug-free life, living up to this year's message and what is invoked by a plain red ribbon.

By Matthew Clark, for the Editorial Board

The Daily Courier Editorial Board consists of community members Jerry Brewer, Kyle Bingham, Tom Padgett, Dr. Shermaine Surratt and Cliff Strassenburg as well as Publisher Jake Volcsko and Editor Matthew Clark