Weldon Elementary takes a stand against drugs

Weldon Elementary students made a drug-free pledge Wednesday morning during their annual Red Ribbon Week Parade in Old Town Clovis.

Accompanied by the Clovis High band and law enforcement officers, Weldon students marched down Pollasky Avenue before returning to campus for a rally led by principal Ray Lozano.

“This is our 28th year, it started in 1990,” Lozano said of the Red Ribbon Week festivities. “This was started when we were declared a national drug-free school, and we’ve just carried the tradition ever since then. Downtown Clovis knows we’re going to be coming every Red Ribbon Week to march loud and proud.”

Weldon Elementary students march through the streets of Old Town Clovis in a stand against drugs during their annual Red Ribbon Week Parade, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018. BILLY XIONG/CLOVIS ROUNDUP

CUSD Superintendent Eimear O’Farrell, who was in attendance as the grand marshal of the parade, praised the students for making smart choices.

“I just want to say how proud I am of all you Weldon Warriors because you showed the entire town of Clovis this morning what you’re about and how faithful you are to being respectful and responsible young citizens,” O’Farrell said. “Thank you so much for letting me come here this morning. This was the most fun I’ve had since I became superintendent.”

Even though Weldon hosted the parade, students from nearby schools like Clark Intermediate, Sierra Vista Elementary and Our Lady of Perpetual Help also joined in on the pledge.

Red Ribbon Week is national tradition that was started in 1985 following the death of DEA agent Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, who was tortured and killed by a mexican drug cartel. Communities across the country began wearing Red Ribbons as a symbol of their commitment to raise awareness of the killing and destruction caused by drugs in America.

“Certainly the tradition is nationwide but we want to personalize it for our kids here at Weldon by having them involved in the parade, the decorations, etc.,” added Lozano. “This becomes their day. This is very meaningful for them. It’s a celebration of life and good decision making for our kids.”

Daniel Leon :A native of Woodlake, Daniel Leon is a recent graduate of Fresno State with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism. Daniel served as Sports Editor at The Collegian, Fresno State’s student-run newspaper, prior to joining the Roundup. Got a story idea? Email him at editor@clovisroundup.com