LETTERS: On Red Ribbon Week and letter ‘assault’

Red Ribbon Week

Beginning on Monday, schools across the nation will celebrate Red Ribbon Week. This year’s theme is: Your Future is Key so Stay Drug Free. It’s a unique theme that was created by Iris Yu, a student at Solon Middle School in Solon, Ohio. Many of us may recall wearing the iconic red ribbon on our shirts from our times in school, but what’s the story behind it?

It all started with Enrique “Kiki” Camarena. He was a Drug Enforcement Administration Agent stationed in Mexico during the 80s. On Feb. 7, 1985, Camarena left his office to meet his wife for lunch. Shortly thereafter five men appeared at the agent’s side and shoved him into a car. One month later, Camarena’s body was found. He had been tortured to death. Friends and neighbors began to wear red badges of satin in honor of Camarena’s memory. Many communities began to form coalitions in an effort to stop the destructive effects of alcohol and other drugs. Several of these coalitions decided to take on the symbol of Camarena’s memory, the red ribbon. Then in 1988, the National Family Partnership decided to sponsor the first National Red Ribbon Celebration, a celebration that continues to this day.

In South Texas, students face many different challenges and decisions. Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance for middle and high school students. In part, this is due to its availability and social acceptance. Children growing up who see this may be lead to believe that it’s fine to consume it at an early age, or may even see it as a rite of passage. For examples, whenever a family gathering or birthday party comes up the first thing on many people’s minds is to secure alcoholic beverages.

One out of every two students in high school has tried an alcohol beverage at least once, according to the 2016 Texas School Survey. The consequences for consuming alcohol at such an early age can include potential damage to brain development, poor academic performances, legal consequences and even death.

Learn more about how you can get involved this Red Ribbon Week at www.redribbon.org.

The Prevention Resource Center, a program of Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas, is the central data collection repository for Region 11 and the developer of a yearly Regional Needs Assessment, which is available to community members at no cost. For more information, call (956) 787-7111.

Irwin Mendoza, regional evaluator, Behavioral Health Solutions of South Texas, Pharr

Letter ‘assault’ rebuked

After reading Anna Dorado’s assault on my logic in a Tuesday letter, I concluded that she offers no facts of her own and only hurls insults at me and The Monitor. She only offered ridicule.

I suggest she does some research about anti-deforestation and population movements, and pine needle infestations in California. Those are facts and I drew my conclusions, as written in my previous letter, based on published research.

And talk about ignorant arguments, she called out The Monitor for allowing me to exercise my First Amendment rights by accusing the newspaper of a conspiracy theory whereby it manipulates its readers by publishing my letters. Sometimes ignorance is bliss, but in her case she mocks what she obviously does not understand.

Jake Longoria, Mission

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Based on my own research, and contrary to Anna Dorado’s letter, I found Jake Longoria’s recent letter to the editor regarding wildfires to be well-thought-out and well-stated. The problems he mentioned have been thoroughly documented many times, but this evidence rarely makes it to the news. Ms. Dorado offers no evidence or proof of her statements. Keep up the good work, Mr. Longoria!

Edna Lea Killam, McAllen

Letters to the Editor are written by concerned citizens just like you. To submit your own letter to the Editor email to letters@themonitor.com. Limit letters to 300 words. We will not publish anonymous letters, personal attacks or consumer complaints. Include your full name, address and a phone number for verification. All letters are subject to editing.