Lawrence and several surrounding communities are recognizing "Red Ribbon Week," a national effort to create awareness of alcohol and other drug problems and to present a commitment to a drug-free nation. The 1991 theme is "Neighbors Drug-Free & Proud."
The Red Ribbon Campaign originated when a federal agent died at the hands of drug traffickers in 1985. The red ribbon became the symbol to eliminate the demand for drugs.
At West Junior High School, faculty are wearing red ribbons that say "Drug-Free and Proud." Those ribbons were supplied by DCCCA, a substance abuse prevention, intervention and treatment program with offices at 2200 W. 25th.
Six eighth-graders who participated in a leadership training workshop last Wednesday are coordinating other Red Ribbon Week activities. Students are getting drugs and alcohol announcements on the school intercom, and students are making red ribbons of their own to wear or put on their lockers.
The East Central Kansas Regional Prevention Center, which works out of the DCCCA offices, will hold a public forum on drug and alcohol issues at 7 p.m. Wednesday at South Junior High School, 2734 La. The forum will include two representatives of Gov. Joan Finney's office.
OTHER ACTIVITIES planned in area schools and cities.
DeSoto: A group of eight DeSoto High School students involved in the Governor's Conference on Teen Leadership addressed the school board Monday night, and plan to make presentations to other groups throughout the week to promote a drug-free lifestyle. Students also will tie red ribbons around town.
At DeSoto Elementary School, children made badges with anti-drug slogans and red ribbons. All schools will observe "Wear Red Day" Wednesday.
Baldwin: Students in all grades will have the opportunity to sign a pledge to remain drug-free. The elementary school children will be treated today to a program by the Kansas University Spirit Squad, and a performance by the junior high chorus Thursday.
Junior high school students can trade a canned good for a red ribbon Tuesday. The canned food will go to the Baldwin Emergency Fund. A number of videos with a drug-free theme will be shown all day Tuesday.
The high school will have two Kansas University athletes on hand today, and all students who take the drug-free pledge will be eligible to win T-shirts and pizza throughout the week.
Wednesday is "Wear Red Day" for all Baldwin schools. Roger Cooper will present "Watch What You Are Doing" to the junior high Wednesday morning, to the high school Wednesday afternoon and for the public at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the high school.
Perry-Lecompton: Red ribbons were distributed to all students and staff, who also will take part in "Wear Red Day" on Wednesday. The high school's Students Against Driving Drunk chapter kicked off the week at Saturday's football game by handing out red ribbons and displaying a balloon for each person killed in the state over the last year as a result of drunken driving.
Tonganoxie: The USD 464 Substance Abuse Prevention School Team will distribute red ribbons and red heart-shaped suckers that say "Have a heart-Just say no" to all students and staff. The SADD chapters at the high school and junior high school and the student council at the elementary school are handing out red antenna ribbons, and a banner in downtown Tonganoxie proclaims, "Tonganoxie working for a drug-free community."
McLouth: Students in kindergarten through sixth grade held an open house and distributed anti-drug information to parents. Elementary school students are decorating grocery sacks with anti-drug messages to be returned to the stores for use.
Members of SADD are handing out bags full of drug-free promotional items and red ribbons to students and staff.
Wednesday, high school students will view a video on drug awareness and hear from members of SADD.
At Friday's football game, SADD members will distribute red ribbons and pamphlets for parents.
Wellsville: Students in grades kindergarten through six Monday colored anti-drug messages on grocery sacks, which now will be used by two Wellsville grocery stores. Today, sixth-graders were to create posters with anti-drug messages to be placed in the windows of Wellsville shops. On Wednesday, students will wear red ribbons.