“Our teachers talk about [being drug free] all the time. Our guidance counselors go into the classrooms and emphasize not taking drugs, not drinking, not smoking, that sort of thing, we even announce it regularly on the intercom, so we try to cover all the bases and send out as much information as we can to the kids,” Cartersville Primary School Principal Walter Gordon said. “The most important things are the teachers emphasizing it and guidance counselors emphasizing it during classroom instruction time.”
He continued, “They talk about the consequences, how do you stay drug free, what it can do to your body, and basically let them know [drug use] can damage you long term.”
Gordon said while the school encourages students to have a drug-free lifestyle, if parents have concerns about their child’s behavior or desire more information about preventing drug use, they can contact the school for additional resources.
“We would encourage our parents to contact our administration and guidance counselors. We have a parent resource room that has a lot of information about drugs and we encourage our parents through newsletters that teachers send out, newsletters that I send out, the Title III compact plan speaks to our parent resource room and we encourage our parents to check out the materials,” Gordon said.
He said it was important to instill in young students an education on how drug use can negatively affect one’s future.
“[Younger students] remember things and this is the age in which we need to instill that information in them and then also speak to the consequences — if you do this then this is what’s going to happen eventually in your life,” Gordon said.
Events at CPS during the week of Oct. 20 included a visit from Gutsy the Flying Fox, who entertained students with a performance of leaps and flips along with a message about staying drug free.
Cass Middle School, for example, will present drug-free facts every morning over the intercom this week while also holding themes every day, such as neon day on Monday, when students are reminded “My Future is Too Bright for Drugs,” and Tuesday’s “Duck Dynasty” day, with the statement “Drugs are for Quacks.”
Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 as a program orchestrated by the National Family Partnership. According to www.redribbon.org, “In response to the murder of DEA Agent Enrique Camarena, angered parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by drugs in America.
“Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985... On Feb. 7, 1985, the 37-year-old Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Five men appeared at the agent’s side and shoved him in a car. One month later, Camarena’s body was found. He had been tortured to death.
“... In honor of Camarena’s memory and his battle against illegal drugs, friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin. Parents, sick of the destruction of alcohol and other drugs, had begun forming coalitions. Some of these new coalitions took Camarena as their model and embraced his belief that one person can make a difference. These coalitions also adopted the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the red ribbon.”