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Local schools celebrate Red Ribbon Week

By Staff
Melissa Cason
Local schools and community agencies are observing National Red Ribbon Week this week. Red Ribbons can be found at Franklin County and Russellville City Schools this week.
One local school had members of the law enforcement community come in and talk with students about the dangers of using drugs, and how to say no to them.
DARE Officer Lt. Mike Franklin and Sgt. Jason Holcomb, investigator for the Franklin County Sheriff's Department, spent Monday afternoon at East Franklin Junior High school educating students about drug abuse.
Holcomb talked to grades six through nine about the affects of methamphetamine usage.
"We want students to be aware what can happen by using meth in order to keep them trying the drug," Franklin said.
Holcomb told the group that meth gives the user an intense pleasure the first time they use it but they will never be able to get that same high again.
"If you do meth, you are going to be the happiest you'll ever be," Holcomb told the group. "But, you'll never be able to get that high again."
Holcomb explained that the drug causes the brain to produce the chemical that is responsible for pleasure but the usage damages that receptors that cause the pleasure making it impossible for that same high to be accomplished.
"That's why meth is so addictive," Holcomb told the students. "People keep trying to get that high but they can't."
Down the hall, Franklin spent the afternoon with students in grades Kindergarten through five helping them understand the difference between good and bad drugs, and how good drugs can become bad if they are misused.
Across the county, Russellville City Schools are participating in Red Ribbon Week as well.
Nancy Cooper, Safe and Drug Free Schools, said each school has different activities.
"The SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) members have been doing skits and things for the other students and held a community event last week," Cooper said. "And the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) hung the red ribbons around campus in observance of the week."
Cooper said Russellville Elementary are having similar activities each day as in the past. Each day has a different theme.
West Elementary also hung red ribbons around campus and handed out stickers.
Red Ribbon Week began in the 1980s. In 1985, the assassination of U.S, Drug Enforcement Agency agent Enrique "Kiki" Camerena enraged many Americans. Young students in his hometown began wearing red ribbons in his memory. The message of the red ribbons was simple: Take a stand against the loss of life and energy to drug abuse. That message and its symbol, the red ribbon, spread rapidly.
In 1988, the National Family Partnership took the Red Ribbon celebration nationwide. Since then, Red Ribbon Week has been listed by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as a national day of health observance and has been touching millions of children, families, and communities across the nation.