Etowah County officers visit area schools for ‘Red Ribbon Week’


Personnel from the Etowah County Sheriff’s Office have been making the rounds of county schools to help educate children about the dangers of drug abuse.

And from the reactions of students at Southside Elementary School during an Oct. 30 visit from members of the mounted unit, the helicopter, the armored vehicle and the motorcycle unit, the lessons were a welcome addition to the school day.

Schools participated in activities all week for Red Ribbon Week. On Wednesday, they wore camoflauge, “so drugs can’t find them.”

Red Ribbon Week aims to spread an anti-drug message to school-aged children.  It was observed last week by most schools in Etowah County.

“During Red Ribbon Week, young people are encouraged to pledge a drug-free life,” states Sheriff Entrekin.  “The special emphasis on drug prevention also allows the community to unify in a stand against drugs and to show intolerance for illicit drug use as well as trafficking.”

Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 to commemorate the death of DEA Special Agent Enrique Camarena who was killed while investigating drug traffickers in Mexico.  Locally, Red Ribbon participants will also honor Chris McCurley, Drug Task Force Commander, who lost his life in the fight against illegal drugs in 1997.

 “Officer McCurley’s death is a particularly painful example of how drug use and trafficking has impacted Etowah County,” Entrekin said. “Unfortunately there are many more, and Red Ribbon Week gives us an opportunity to bring awareness to just how much drugs negatively impact individuals, especially young people, and the community as a whole.”

 The Etowah County Sheriff’s Office helicopter, armored vehicle, motorcycles and mounted unit traveled to county elementary schools during Red Ribbon Week in an effort to encourage students to stay drug-free.

Sheriff’s office personnel visited Duck Springs Elementary School, Carlisle Elementary School and Whitesboro Elementary School on Oct. 28; Ivalee Elementary School, John Jones Elementary School and West End Elementary School on Oct. 29; Hokes Bluff Elementary School, Glencoe Elementary School and Southside Elementary School on Oct. 30; and Highland School and Gaston School on Oct. 31.

During the week at Southside Elementary, Counselor Tassy Townsel said students had a different activity every day. There activities were:

Monday – “Red”-y to be live drug free and make a difference. Students wore red;

Tuesday – Cool kids don’t use drugs. Students wore a cool cap;

Wednesday – Drugs Can’t Find Me. Students wore camoflauge;

Thursday – “I can be anything I want to be, drug free!” Students wore costumes;

Friday – Team Up Against Drugs. Students were to wear school colors or jerseys.

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