Red Ribbon Week: Do we even care?

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red-ribbon-223x300By Catt Phan

Last week FVHS celebrated Red Ribbon Week, a national campaign against drugs and violence, with dress-up days and lunchtime activities. Although the week was intended to promote awareness and prevent drug abuse, many FVHS students expressed concerns that the significance of the campaign has diminished.

“I think that Red Ribbon Week has the potential to have a very strong effect on the students at our school,” said Kari Bandurian (’14). “However, I feel that our high school doesn’t quite stress the message of the week enough.”

“In elementary school, we had assemblies, dress-up days, and activities in which we learned about the effects of drugs on our health. We don’t have that same spirited push telling us not to do drugs in high school,” said Bandurian.

Only a month after the heroin overdose of a Huntington Beach student at the Marriott only a block from FVHS, some Fountain Valley students felt that last week’s anti-drug campaign fell short, at a time when an anti-drug push after the tragedy would be especially necessary.

“We aren’t making a big enough deal about it,” said Becca Frankeny (’14). “Especially with that boy from Huntington dying last month specifically from drugs, our school should take it more seriously.”

FNL president Tiffany Tran (’13), who worked with her team to organize the week of dress-up days and lunchtime activities, thought otherwise. She believed the campaign was successful.

“It was very satisfying to see how everything came into place in the end,” said Tran. “[The activities] allowed students to be involved with the FNL activities along with spirit days to show that they support the cause.”

However, some students felt that dress up days and lunchtime activities were not enough to get the anti-drug message across.

“This year’s Red Ribbon Week should have focused more on the effects of drugs and alcohol,” said Jared Johnson (’13).

“Red Ribbon Week is a great way to spread the word on stopping drug use but I don’t think that there was any affect on the FVHS students,” said Johnson. “Maybe if there was an assembly or Every 15 Minutes thing, then the students would be able to personalize the negative effects that drug use has on peoples lives.”

If an assembly isn’t possible, certain days can be set aside to educate students. On an even smaller scale,  anti-drug announcements can be made during 3rd period. Making sure students are well-informed about the long term consequences drugs and violence should be the main focus of the week, instead of dress-up days and counterproductive activities. For example, students were asked one day to sign a pledge not to drink and drive. The next day the lunchtime activity was a game that emulated Beer Pong.

Tran said that she hoped that next year there would be more events for the week to “reach out to more students.”

“The more we do, the more the positive impact there will be,” Tran said. “However, in the future I hope that they will be more days during [Red Ribbon Week] so that students can learn more about drug awareness.”

Edited by Andrea Liu

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