HOPEDALE - Pupils at Harrison East Elementary School got into promoting the idea of saying no to drugs in Harrison County's promotion of Red Ribbon Week, which concludes today.
The school's Parent-Teacher Organization promised a pizza party to the class who designed a door cover that was judged the best by a panel of judges.
There was a hearty round of applause when Lt. Mark Touville of the sheriff's department, who was a judge, announced Linda Rusen's second-grade class had won.
DOOR DECORATING CONTEST — Red Ribbon Week, observed through today, was celebrated with a class door decorating contest at Harrison East Elementary School. The activities were sponsored by the school’s Parent-Teacher Organization and conducted by the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department. Linda Rusen’s second-grade class was the winner with the theme of “Drugs Can Be a Scary Place.” Some of those taking part were, front, from left, Lt. Mark Touville of the sheriff’s department, pupils; Krickett Porter, Lucas Thomas and back, Sgt. Eric Wilson.
Rusen's classroom door had the theme "Drugs Can Take You to Scary Places" and showed a skeleton dressed in tattered clothes, with gleaming eyes, and surrounding tombstones with epitaphs such as "She loved flying high, now she flies high with the angels" and other sayings that warned against drug use.
All 14 of the doors at the school advised against the use of drugs in their own way, such as "Don't Fall for Drugs," showing a tree with many colorful leaves covering the area and a large mousetrap with animal prints and bones scattered about saying "Don't Take the Bait."
Sgt. Eric Wilson of the sheriff's department, who conducted the tour for the door judging, said the week is promoted in the school each year as an awareness campaign against drugs, alcohol, tobacco and violence prevention.
It came about after the kidnapping, torture and murder of Erique "Kiki" Camarena, Drug Enforcement Agency agent in 1985. After his death, citizens in Camarena's hometown of Calexico, Calif., wore red ribbons in his honor and it became a symbol for prevention in order to reduce the demand of illegal drugs.
The kickoff at the school included a visit from Deputy Chris Parrish, with the new canine, Frea. The pupils watched a demonstration of the duo's ability to locate narcotics and apprehend suspects.
Each day featured themes as students were encouraged to wear red, wear their clothes inside out and show Husky spirit with the school's mascot.
Judges for the event were Don Sloan of WTOV-TV, Touville and Esther McCoy of the Herald-Star.
The events were coordinated by Harrison County Sheriff Ron Myers and his D.A.R.E. program.