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GJH students pledge to be drug free

Red Ribbon Week, the last full week in October each year, raises awareness of drug use and the problems related to drugs facing our community, and encourages parents, educators, business owners, and other community organizations to promote drug-free lifestyles.

Gainesville Junior High’s celebration kicked off on Monday, October 22nd with “United We Stand Against Drugs” in which students donned red, white, and blue.  Other activities scheduled throughout the week were “Travel Life Drug Free”, “Sport a Drug Free Life”, and “Team Up Against Drugs”. On Tuesday during all lunches, school counselors challenged students to take a stand against drugs.  Over 350 7th and 8th graders signed a pledge to be drug free and received a sticker to wear the remainder of the week.  GJHS ended the week with a “Proud to be Drug Free” photo with students who wore red that day.

“Red Ribbon Week encourages our entire community to adopt healthy, drug-free lifestyles,” said Clark Bawcom, GJHS School Counselor.  “The national campaign aims to bring together parents, schools, and businesses as we look for ways to keep kids and communities drug free.”

In 1985, Drug Enforcement Administration Special Agent Enrique S. “Kiki” Camarena was killed by drug traffickers.  Shortly after his death, citizens from his hometown of Calexico, California, began wearing red ribbons to remember him and commemorate his sacrifice.

The first official Red Ribbon Week celebration was created by the National Family Partnership in 1988.  NFP continues to coordinate the campaign for families, schools, and communities across the nation each year.  Since then, the red ribbon has symbolized a continuing commitment to reducing the demand for illicit drugs in our communities.

“Red Ribbon Week gives us the opportunity to be vocal and visible in our efforts to achieve a drug-free community,” said Katie Denney, GJHS School Counselor.  “Research shows that children are less likely to use alcohol and other drugs when parents and other roles models are clear and consistent in their opposition to drug use and the misuse of prescription drugs.”

Visit for more information about Red Ribbon Week.

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