Drug and alcohol abuse have been a problem for a long, long time.  In 1985, the brutal death of U.S. Drug Enforcement Agent Kiki Camarena by drug traffickers spurred a nationwide campaign against drug and alcohol abuse.  Camarena’s hometown began to wear red ribbons in his honor.  The purpose being, one person can make a difference.

Students at the Scotland County R-I junior and senior high school celebrated this occasion in October with several activities, assemblies and daily announcements.  Students were provided red ribbons on Monday to wear throughout the week in order to be eligible for daily prize drawings provided by MoDOT.  Themes for the week included: Camo Day, Favorite Team Day, Wear Red Day, Hat Day, and Tiger Spirit Day.

Speakers throughout the week included Judge Karl DeMarce who visited with the freshmen class concerning Missouri driving laws, DWI’s, and MIP’s.  On Tuesday, Sgt. Brent Bernhardt of the Missouri Highway Patrol provided students with the opportunity to ride the “Seat Belt Convincer” and stressed the importance of driving responsibility and using seat belts.  Students were able to see a drug dog in action on Wednesday.  Missouri State Trooper TJ Adams and his drug dog policed an auto and demonstrated how the dog “hits” on drug infested vehicles.  Memphis City Marshal Bill Holland and Scotland County Deputy Sheriff Bryan Whitney presented seventh and eighth graders information on the dangers of marijuana, methamphetamines, and synthetic marijuana.

In conjunction with the theme, a survey was conducted on Wednesday, October 17th. Seventy-six students, ages 15-17, were polled about alcohol, tobacco, and marijuana use.  The results were as follows: 8.4% admitted to using tobacco in the last month, 6.9% have consumed alcohol in the past month, and 12.6% admitted to trying marijuana. Two percent admitted to using drugs other than the above mentioned.

Red Ribbon Week is the celebration of a lifetime commitment to remain alcohol and drug free.  The week of activities are a reminder to students to make positive choices each day of their life.