Red Ribbon Week: Helicopter Landings, Neon Clothes and More

The neon and brightly colored clothing were not a fashion accident at Joseph C. Casillas Elementary this week. Students, like those in Ms. Bonnie Hunt’s second grade class (in photo slide show below), were “Too Bright for Drugs.” Principal Emiko Nakamura had to wear shades, part of Red Ribbon Week activities, which take place from Oct. 23-31 across the District.

The Red Ribbon Campaign® was started after the murder of Drug Enforcement Agency agent Enrique S. “Kiki” Camarena in 1985. This began the continuing tradition of displaying Red Ribbons as a symbol of intolerance towards the use of drugs. The District’s newest school, which opened in July, was named after Camarena.

From state elected officials to PTA leaders and DEA representatives, community support for Red Ribbon Week has been outstanding. At Anne and William Hedenkamp Elementary, the festivities were captured in a video slide show. At Camarena Elementary, informational displays, and activities involving a drug-sniffing dog were augmented by the landing of a DEA helicopter on the school’s playground, eliciting oohs and ahs.

“We have DEA agents here showing us the work they are doing to keep our community safe,” said Camarena Principal Dan Winters. “It is a great celebration in honor of Enrique Camarena, the namesake of our school. The kids are excited to see the dog and the helicopter, and know more about the work being done to keep us all safe.”

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