I returned to Canyon Springs on Wednesday to speak with the last 6th grade class and all of the 4th grade classes. Just like last week, I spent my time with the students introducing myself and answering questions. At the lunch break, I had a long line of students that wanted to get handcuffed. It was a pleasure to meet the rest of the teachers, but I was especially happy to meet the family of one of my former teammates, the Gutierrez family!
It was also great to see the kids running around with the Red Ribbon Week wristbands that I provided the school with last week. I had a little time to talk to some of the classes about the origins of Red Ribbon Week.
It all started back in the mid-80’s after DEA Agent Enrique Camarena was killed in the line of duty and his home town in southern California paid tribute to him by wearing red ribbons. The campaign gained momentum in California over the next few years and it eventually became part of the national drug awareness program. Schools across the country today still focus drug awareness campaigns around Red Ribbon Week, and it all goes back to the sacrifice of one cop trying to make his community better.
I also warned the kids to not think of drugs as good or bad. Drugs are just inanimate chemicals that affect our minds and bodies in a variety of ways. The good or bad comes from why a person chooses to use a drug. The laws and attitudes surrounding drugs are constantly changing, but every time a person uses a drug for any reason there is a risk involved. The only time a kid should be using a drug is with their parents knowledge and/or under the care of a doctor when necessary.
I won’t be back at Canyon Springs until January, but I am already looking forward to my next visit.