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Red Ribbon Week About Making Healthy Choices

OPD+Officers+Marcus+Woods+and+Emerson+Goldtooth
OPD Officers Marcus Woods and Emerson Goldtooth

Oceanside CA— Schools across the country are celebrating ‘Red Ribbon Week’ this week, educating students while participating in drug prevention activities. Red Ribbon Week began in 1985 in response to the torture and murder of DEA Agent, Enrique Camarena. Parents and youth in communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction cause by illegal drugs in America.
Located in Oceanside but part of the Vista Unified School District, Mission Meadows Elementary School students were visited, on Tuesday, by members of the Oceanside Police Department, Oceanside Fire Department, California Highway Patrol and REACH Air Ambulance.
“Red Ribbon Week for these young ones is mostly about making healthy choices,” explained Oceanside Fire Department Captain Shawn Fernades. “Students will learn a little about drugs and alcohol but they really don’t have a concept or understanding of those things. It is more about eating the right foods, choosing the right friends. The most important thing is not to scare the kids.”

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  • OPD Officer Sam Hay

  • Todd Hunt, Jake Chambers and Captain Shawn Fernandes

  • OPD Officer Emerson Goldtooth

  • Chris Kominski and Nick Kershaw

  • REACH pilot Steve Robinson

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The students were treated to OPD and CHP K-9 demonstrations along with the fly-in by REACH. “I’ve been the Principal at Mission Meadows for five years and we’ve never had the participation by this many agencies before,” said Dr. Bill Porter. The mornings events were coordinated by PTA President, Renee Grayson and Captain Fernades who explained to students that more than 50% of the departments emergency calls were drug or alcohol abuse related.
“I think the best thing Red Ribbon Week does for our students is teach them you have to make the right choices in your life. You have to learn expected behavior, not unexpected behavior because in an elementary laboratory, this is where you are supposed to make your mistakes. We can help teach you, nurture you and mentor you so when you become a middle schooler or a high schooler, you won’t make a choice that you can’t take back. We use Red Ribbon Week to communicate that message,” said Dr. Porter.
On Wednesday at Palmquist Elementary School, in Oceanside, students were treated to a fly-in by a DEA helicopter and participated in a mock undercover drug bust, demonstrations by DEA drug locating dogs along with a visit by OFD, OPD and FBI.
“It’s pretty cool. Each day is a different theme this week. Our students are writing essays in the classroom in conjunction with this assembly,” said school Principal, Mandy Bell. “It’s all about making healthy choices and good choices in general. This a pretty great experience for our kids.”
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  • DEA pilots Dennis and Kent

  • Ryan Robinson, Capt. Jeremy Brandt and Ian Shelton

  • Students lead their suspect away after a mock undercover drug bust

  • OPD Officer Emerson Goldtooth

  • Cheryl Dorenbush, FBI San Diego office, Community Outreach Specialist

  • DEA Special Agent Geoff

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Red Ribbon Week About Making Healthy Choices