NATIONAL RED RIBBON WEEK
PHOTOS / KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT

By KEITH RYAN CARTWRIGHT
Rutherford County Schools

As part of their 25th anniversary, School Resource Officers are helping to promote this year’s National Red Ribbon Week.

Normally celebrated the last week of October, schools throughout Rutherford County are using this week and next to teach children and youths to avoid the use of drugs.

Each of the 47 schools are acknowledging National Red Ribbon Week in their own unique way.

At Barfield Elementary, school counselor Marylyn Caperton created the theme “Use Your Two Lips for Positive Words and Say No to Drugs.”

Every day this week, Caperton, who has spent 44 years in education and the past 20 at Barfield, has led a class of fifth-graders outside to plant tulips during their related arts time.

“Upon completion of the project we will have planted 125 tulips,” Caperton said, “and worked on removing dandelion weeds and such from the front landscape area of the school as a service project.”

Caperton described “Use Your Two Lips” as a lasting legacy for this year’s fifth-graders, who will matriculate to middle school beginning next fall.

Red Ribbon Days will continue at Barfield next week with the entire school participating in funky hair and silly socks day on Monday. Students are encouraged to wear as much red as possible.

On Tuesday, students will wear their favorite hats and shades as they team up against drugs in support of “Drugs are Not Cool” day.

National Ribbon Week was started in 1985 following the death of Special Agent Enrique ‘Kiki’ Camarena, who gave his life in the fight against drugs. The tribute originated in his hometown of Calexico, California, and in the ensuing years spread through California and then nationally.

Caperton has been assisted all week with the planting of red tulips by her husband, James, who has volunteered to help educate students on the proper way to plant bulbs.

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