School resource officers Christian Mellen and Mark Jacobs have spent the beginning of the week touring classrooms at Malletts Bay School telling the story behind the Red Ribbon Campaign and this year’s slogan: your future is key so stay drug free.
Enrique (Kiki) Camarena was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent who was tortured and killed in Mexico in 1985. When he decided to join the US Drug Enforcement Administration, his mother tried to talk him out of it. “I’m only one person”, he told her, “but I want to make a difference.”
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. In Colchester, officers handed out red bracelets to students to wear as a symbol of support and commitment to their community.
After sharing Kiki’s story, Officer Mellen facilitated a discussion with students to encourage them to examine their own communities, both at school and at home, to see how they could make a positive impact. The students proposed cleaning up trash in common areas, donating food or time to a charity, contributing to small acts of kindness like holding a door open for someone, and being a “upstander” to bullying.
The kids sported their red bracelets to show their support of staying safe and drug free while doing their part to help the Malletts Bay School and Colchester communities.