By Joseph L. Campos Jr.
By Joseph L. Campos Jr.
The Drug Enforcement Agency teamed up with Red Ribbon.org to host an anti-drug and narcotics event at a local elementary school in Buena Park. Several undercover federal agents were on hand to present Charles G. Emery Elementary School with a $1,000 dollar check for winning a Red Ribbon.org Photograph Contest two years in a row. Politicians like Buena Park Mayor, Elizabeth Swift were also on hand to present the school with an award for their drug free efforts.
“Promise to remain drug free,” exclaimed Mayor Swift as she took to the podium to give a brief speech. “In this life, you only live once. Just stay drug free. This is my dream for each and all of you.” The whole concept of public school’s red ribbon week ceremonies is to commemorate the tragic death of a DEA Agent who had died in the line of duty serving his country, and community. Now decades later the DEA wears the color red to forever stand in solidarity with their fallen comrade for shedding his blood to keep drugs off of the streets, and out of the hands of urban youth.
A total of three DEA Agents showed up to talk with the students about the importance of living a clean lifestyle, and that using narcotics will ruin their lives. Only by living a clean lifestyle, will they all be able to achieve their dreams of becoming whatever it is that they want to be when it comes to their future professions. Students took turns taking to the podium to speak of their dreams of wanting to be a farmer, a baseball player, and a dance teacher.
Two of the DEA Agents landed a government helicopter on the baseball field of the school that was equipped with a huge surveillance camera. The third agent showed off a huge armored truck to the students and displayed a table that had bulletproof teflon vests, riot shields, shot guns, and M-16 assault rifles on them. The students got to pose with the combat equipment. “The Drug Enforcement Agency’s main purpose is to spy on bad guys and to confiscate their goods,” explained Agent Vo, who didn’t want his whole name revealed due to his undercover protocols. “You all need to make the right choices and make the right decisions. Don’t do drugs; instead focus on chasing your dreams. You can be whatever you want to be, just set goals. Start dreaming now and set short term, midterm, and long-term goals.” Agent Vo also gave the students a stern warning as well. “Still, make sure that you all choose your family and friends wisely. Only be around good friends and family who are going to help you. Always know that government cameras are everywhere. We have the ‘eye in the sky.’ You are all always being watched. So, make good decisions. Drugs, and alcohol are bad and you must do whatever you can to stay healthy. Remember, a healthy body and a healthy mind is very important.”
Agent Shannon echoed Agent Vo’s statements with his following quote. “Unfortunately, when all of you children grow up…many people in your neighborhood will make wrong decisions. A lot of things are going to change once you reach the junior high and high school levels in school. When you reach this level, a lot of people that you knew growing up are going to start making wrong and bad decisions. The best thing that you all can do is just stay in school, do sports, go to college, and focus on getting good grades.”
Though it may be hard for parents, teachers, and law enforcement to influence small children to say no to drugs when we currently live in a political climate that seems to endorse the use of mind altering substances within politics, Hollywood, pop-culture, and other forms of mainstream media, the DEA remains diligent in spreading the word about the hazards of these drugs from weed, to heroine, to ecstasy. They advise parents of small children to sit little ones down and explain why it is not worth risking one’s mental or physical health.