LAWTON, OK (KSWO) - Red Ribbon Week is underway all across America as students spend the week dressing up and remembering to say no to drugs.
Students at John Adams Elementary dressed up for "Drugs are Despicable" day, where students and staff dressed up as characters from the movie Despicable Me. There was also a crazy sock day at Eisenhower Elementary School, a hat day at MacArthur High School and countless other dress up days around town.
"To some, Red Ribbon Week might just be about dressing up and having a little fun at school, but others know deep down that there is so much more to this week than just a good time.
"Red Ribbon Week to me means just being aware that drugs are there, being aware that you need to choose good choices over bad choices, know that at a young age you can be introduced to things like that and you need to be able to say no," MacArthur High School Senior Class President Alexus Bender said.
That is the message that 10 MacArthur High School students were hoping to spread Tuesday morning when they walked into Carriage Hills Elementary to give a presentation to the kids. That presentation featured singing and games, as well as an important message about what it means to be a leader and why drugs are bad.
"It's important because, at that early age, that's when they retain the most, so whatever they hear the most, that's what they're going to remember whenever they get over," MacArthur High School Student Council Vice President Leo Dakota Phillips said. "If they hear not to do drugs, they won't do drugs. It's good to incorporate it when they're small so when they're big they won't have to worry about it."
Red Ribbon Week was started in the 1980s to honor the life of a DEA agent who was murdered while undercover in Mexico. Activities Director at MacArthur High School Denise Aguilar said the legacy and meaning behind the week continue to be carried on because of the great leadership skills showed by the students like the ones speaking at Carriage Hills today.
"They are great examples, not only for leadership in a school setting but also we strive to do community as well, and they are great examples for these kids to look up to, to aspire to be like them," Aguilar said.
And while most students do support that message, they also agree how much they enjoy not having to follow every school rule to the letter of the law for a week.
"It's fun, we get to go tweak dress code a little bit, so it's fun to do," Phillips said.
"We have a pajama day as well so it's really cool, we get to dress up, break dress code a bit and it's just a good time," Bender said.
The kids were out of school for Fall Break on Monday, so their Red Ribbon Week will actually continue until next Monday.