Next week (Oct. 26-30), Rappahannock County High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) partners with Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) for a Red Ribbon Week at the high school.
Red Ribbon Week was started in 1985 when drug traffickers murdered DEA agent Kiki Camarena. Red ribbons were adopted as a symbol of intolerance towards drug use. It is the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the nation. MADD has broadened its mission to include drugged driving as a result of the growing problem.
RCHS art teacher Joy Sours, who also hosts the annual After Prom party at the high school, is the faculty sponsor for the event. Kim McKiernan, founder of the local chapter of MADD, has been promoting the event to county and school officials and to local businesses. “We are bringing Red Ribbon Week into the community to show our students support of good choices for their future and not destructive decisions like drugs and drinking.” Oct. 4 was the anniversary of McKiernan’s son’s death as a result of a drunk driver.
SADD has been busy planning this event, making large posters with positive messages for Red Ribbon Week and collecting red items for the showcases throughout the school. “Events at the high school include daily themes that are fun and inspirational,” says McKiernan. “For instance, on Monday the kids will be encouraged to wear red in support of the message ‘I believe in me.’ ”
On Tuesday, sunglasses will be de rigueur to demonstrate that “your future is bright.” Other days’ themes include looking to the future, wearing crazy socks, and, of course, Halloween costumes on that Friday. In addition, says McKiernan, “Morning announcements will include messages and facts about drugs and alcohol and what it can do to lives.”
McKiernan hopes support for Red Ribbon Week will be evident throughout the community as well. County employees will have the option to wear a red ribbon every day during Red Ribbon Week and red ribbons will be affixed to trees and in front of businesses throughout the community. McKiernan says she hopes parents “will take this opportunity to talk to your kids about drugs and alcohol and get ready to participate next week.”
Businesses or individuals who would like to participate and show their support can contact McKiernan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 540-229-1112 before Monday (Oct. 26).