Most Dallas school children this week will recognize Red Ribbon Week, a nationwide anti-drug campaign.

Usually the week involves fun events that open channels for discussion about drug and alcohol abuse prevention.

At Lakewood Elementary, for example, students will don red ribbons and have a different theme — such as “hair’s to a drug-free life crazy hair day” and “real-life hero day”, during which children will take turns talking about their heroes — for each day of the week.

Red Ribbon Week, traditionally the last week of October, honors the late drug-enforcement agent Kiki Camarena, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency website.

Special Agent Camarena was working a case in Guadalajara, Mexico in the 1980s when he was kidnapped, tortured, and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. Following his violent death, his friends launched local Camarena Clubs, where kids and parents wore red ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to reject drugs.

Read the whole story and the history of Red Ribbon Week here.

If you have a little more time, the Washington Times last year, on the 25 anniversary of Camarena’s death ran this interesting piece about him and the state of the “war on drugs”. (Just ignore the inane comments section.)

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