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EAST GREENWICH â€” Local students and public safety officials are making sure that Red Ribbon Week is not just nine days of building awareness of drug and alcohol issues and how to avoid them.
At last Thursdayâ€™s Red Ribbon Week conference, sponsored by Citizens Who Care at the East Greenwich Police Station Community Room, both sides of the equation discussed the steps theyâ€™re taking to battle the problem and make sure the town keeps the weekâ€™s message in mind.
Red Ribbon Week, celebrated from Oct. 23 through Oct. 31 this year, honors the memory of FBI agent Enrique Camarena, who was kidnapped and murdered by Mexican drug traffickers in 1985.
Bob Houghtaling, town substance abuse prevention coordinator, said the weekâ€™s message has broadened beyond drugs and alcohol to public safety, bullying and mental health issues.
â€śThis is not only to recognize the importance of Red Ribbon Week, but the cooperation between the schools, police and the rest of the community,â€ť he said.
Students from Cole Middle School and East Greenwich High School also gave presentations on keeping schools safe from the teen perspective.
Jonathan Hare, a Cole eighth-grader and member of its Co-Leader mentoring program, talked about anti-bullying efforts and the B.E.E. S.M.A.R.T. Program, in which Cole students visit the Hanaford and Eldredge elementary schools to advise fifth-graders about what to expect when they arrive at Cole next year.
For more information pick up a copy of the East Greenwich Pendulum