Return to Headlines

Red Ribbon Week focuses on drug-free lifestyle

Princeton campuses are recognizing Red Ribbon Week Oct. 23-27 by planning special activities and spirit days to send a reminder to students about maintaining a drug-free lifestyle.

Red Ribbon Week is the nation’s oldest and largest drug prevention program in reaching millions of Americans during a week in October every year.

By wearing red ribbons and participating in community anti-drug events, young people pledge to live a drug-free life and pay tribute to DEA Special Agent Enriqué “Kiki” Camarena.

According to PISD counselors, the tradition of displaying Red Ribbons has become a symbol of intolerance toward the use of drugs in our community and nationwide.

“Red Ribbon Week is important because it honors the memory and legacy of Agent Kiki Camarena,” said Godwin counselor Wendy Crane. “We continue his work of trying to keep our students drug free by starting conversations using the knowledge of the importance of living a healthy life that avoids drugs so they can achieve their dreams.”

The special agent was an 11-year veteran of the DEA assigned to the Guadalajara, Mexico, office where he was on the trail of the country’s biggest marijuana and cocaine traffickers. In 1985, he was close to unlocking a multi-billion dollar drug pipeline.

But on Feb. 7, 1985, he was kidnapped, brutally tortured and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers. His tragic death opened the eyes of many Americans to the dangers of drugs and the international scope of the drug trade.

Shortly after Kiki’s death, Congressman Duncan Hunter and Kiki’s high school friend Henry Lozano launched “Camarena Clubs” in Kiki’s hometown of Calexico, Ca. Hundreds of club members pledged to lead drug-free lives to honor the sacrifice made by Kiki Camarena.

These pledges were delivered to First Lady Nancy Reagan at a national conference of parents combating youth drug use. Several state parent organizations then called on community groups to wear red ribbons during a week in October as a symbol of their drug-free commitment.

In 1988, the National Family Partnership (NFP) coordinated the first National Red Ribbon Week with President and Mrs. Reagan serving as honorary chairpersons.

“Red Ribbon Week is important because it brings awareness to the problems created by using drugs, alcohol and tobacco use,” said Huddleston counselor Katie Lander. “It also encourages students to make good choices.”

School counselors say Red Ribbon Week has come to be known as a symbol of commitment to a healthy, drug-free lifestyle.

“Red Ribbon Week encourages students and their families to stay drug free and to help spread awareness of current issues that individuals might be faced with in their lives,” said Harper counselor Erin Johnston. “According to the National Family Partnership website, the mission of the Red Ribbon campaign is to present a unified and visible commitment toward the creation of a drug-free America.”

Special spirit days and activities planned throughout PISD to recognize Red Ribbon Week include:


Oct. 23: Say peace out to drugs. Dress like a hippie/’60s/tie dye.

Oct. 24: Friends don’t let friends do drugs. Twin day.

Oct. 25: Drugs have no character. Dress like your favorite movie character.

Oct. 26: Drugs are old school. Dress from the ‘80s.

Oct. 27: Black out drugs. Dress in all black.



Oct. 23: I mustache you to not do drugs. Wear a mustache.

Oct. 24: Life rocks. Dress like a rock star.

Oct. 25: Plow drugs under. Dress like a farmer.

Oct. 26: Be smart and don’t do drugs. Dress like a nerd.

Oct. 27: Be a hero, not a zero. Dress like a super hero.



Oct. 23: We are RED-y to take a stand against drugs and bullying. Wear red.

Oct. 24: Too bright for drugs. Wear neon.

Oct. 25: Join the fight against drugs. Wear camo.

Oct. 26: Drugs don’t mix and match. Wear mismatched clothes.

Oct. 27: PAWS-itively drug free. Wear Panther spirit gear.


Huddleston will also have prizes for the best dressed and a door-decorating contest.



Oct. 23: Winning the war on drugs. Wear camo.

Oct. 24: Too smart to start. Nerd day.

Oct. 25: Too bright for drugs. Wear bright clothes.

Oct. 26: Drugs aren’t fashionable. Tacky day.

Oct. 27: Drugs are scary. School-appropriate costumes – shoes required, no masks.


Godwin is also conducting a digital scavenger hunt around the school. The Collin County drug dog will make an appearance for 5th-graders, and SRO Courtney Raney will pass out red ribbons to all students.



Oct. 23: These paws don’t touch drugs. Wear Panther spirit gear.

Oct. 24: Don’t get tied down with drugs. Wear tie-dye.

Oct. 25: Pledge to be drug free. Wear red.

Oct. 26: Winning the war on drugs. Wear camoflage.

Oct. 27: Say boo to drugs. Wear Halloween costume. (School appropriate, no pajamas, shoes required at all times, no masks during instruction.)


Harper is also conducting a door-decorating contest, and SRO Courtney Raney will speak to 5th-graders about Red Ribbon Week.



Oct. 23: “RED”y to live a drug-free life. Wear red.

Oct. 24: Too bright for drugs. Wear bright-colored clothes.

Oct. 25: Stay in the game and play drug free. Wear Dallas Cowboys gear or favorite team shirt.

Oct. 26: Drugs are despicable. Dress like a minion.

Oct. 27: Wild about being drug free. Crazy hair day.


A drug-free pep rally will feature Rowdy, the Dallas Cowboys mascot, Wednesday, Oct. 25.



Oct. 23: Put a stop to drugs. Wear red.

Oct. 24: Living drug free is no sweat. Wear a sweatshirt and sweatpants.

Oct. 25: Drugs are wack. Wear wacky attire.

Oct. 26: Say boo to drugs. Wear dress-code appropriate costume.

Oct. 27: Drugs are old school. Wear 1950s attire.