Lincoln Junior High honor law enforcement and exercise encouragement for Red Ribbon Week

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[October 31, 2019] 

Students at Lincoln Junior High gathered in the gymnasium Monday morning for an assembly to kickoff Red Ribbon Week. DARE Officer Christy Fruge shared, “Red Ribbon Week is to honor the men and women of law enforcement who fight every day to rid the world of drugs that get into the hands of all of you.” Other officers were on hand to share the assembly with the students.

Student Council Members Claire Duffer, Emma Petro, Reece Winebrinner, and Taryn Stoltzenburg each read a portion of the history of Red Ribbon Week:

Enrique “Kiki” Camarena grew up in a dirt floor house with hopes and dreams of making a difference. Kiki worked his way through college, served in the Marines, and became a police officer.

When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, Kiki’s mother tried to talk him out of it. Kiki told her, “I can’t not do this. I know I’m only one person, but I want to make a difference.

The DEA sent Kiki to work undercover in Mexico investigating a major drug cartel believed to include officers in the Mexican Army, Mexico police and government.

On February 7, 1985, 37-year-old Kiki left his office to meet his wife for lunch. During lunch, five men appeared at Kiki’s side and shoved him in a car. One-month later Kiki’s body was found in a shallow grave. He had been tortured to death.

Within weeks of his death, in March of 1985, Kiki’s Congressman, Duncan Hunter, and high school friend, Henry Lozano, launched Camarena Club’s in Imperial Valley, California, which was Kiki’s home.

Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifices made by Kiki and others on behalf of all Americans.

These coalitions began to wear red badges of stain and red ribbons as a symbol of Kiki’s memory. The Red Ribbon Campaign immerged from the efforts of these clubs and coalitions.

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Today, Red Ribbon Week is nationally recognized and celebrated hoping to preserve Special Agent Camarena’s memory and further the cause for which he gave his life.

The Red Ribbon Campaign also became a symbol of support for the DEA’s effort to reduce demand for drugs through prevention and education programs.

By wearing a red ribbon during the last week in October Americans demonstrate their ardent opposition to drugs. They pay homage not only to Special Agent Camarena, but to all men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in support of our nations struggle against drug trafficking and abuse.

Special activities take place at Lincoln Junior High School all this week including dress-up days:

Tuesday – Tie Dye Day
Wednesday – Jersey Day
Thursday – Visco Day
Friday – LJHS Spirit Wear Day

There are drawings for a prize each day for those who participate.

Duffer shared other activities taking place during Red Ribbon Week:

  • Positive Message Grams can be purchased during lunch: 25 cents each or 5 for $1.

  • Color pencils donated by DARE will accompany any Message Gram purchased.

  • Builders Club will participate by playing positive games during lunch with prizes for winners.

  • A big banner created by Natalie Hunter will be in the common area for students to write positive messages.

  • Officers will be eating lunch with students on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.

  • On Friday, officers will be playing dodgeball with students during PE.

LJHS Student Council Sponsor Mrs. Leslie Singleton ended the assembly by thanking the students for attending, reminding them to have a great week. She encouraged them to have a fun time and to be positive.

[Lisa Ramlow]

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