Red Ribbon Week raises drug awareness


Leslie Parker

This week the Health and Safety Committee of Student Congress is organizing festivities for Red Ribbon Week, the national week designed to raise drug awareness and encourage students to lead a safe and drug free life. Senior Hemat Patel has worked with his co-chairman, junior Hannah Milby to plan everything from the red ribbons tied to the trees to the tissue paper covering lights in the theme hallways.

According to Patel, they didn’t have much notice about Red Ribbon Week. They were planning to do something small but effective, however, an administrator really pushed for the week to be something more. Patel began to think big and that is how the hallway decorating contest came about.

“At Jasper it was a really big deal and I wanted to bring some of that here,” Patel said. “I contacted club presidents and sponsors and asked them to participate by decorating their own hallway. I think the hallways really advertised a lot of Red Ribbon Week because everyone walks through the hallways and they all see it because it’s really noticeable.”

Red ribbons were also tied around the trees near the pond and around the poles under the bridge with the hopes of bringing attention to the theme week and all it entails. Participation has been low over the past few years at the high school level, but according to Patel it’s still an important aspect of school life, even though we’re not in elementary school and we don’t get as excited over the prospect of theme weeks.

“It’s not like we have to get puppets and start talking to kids about drugs, but Red Ribbon Week could be as simple as just making people aware of drugs and their impact in the school,” Patel said. “We wanted to make chalk outlines outside like dead bodies and then inside write drug facts. Unfortunately, we couldn’t do that because of the weather, but that would have been something really cool to make people aware.”

A Red Out for Red Ribbon Week is scheduled to take place on Nov.6 and on Nov. 8 a Drug Enforcement Agent is expected to come and talk to students and also set up a booth at lunch to talk about the implications of doing drugs. Patel and Milby encourage students to participate and continue to fight the battle against drugs. Their hope is that the week will continue to have an impact on students that only gets bigger and bigger.

“Drugs cost us a lot of lives, not just in terms of death but also in terms of losing your right to walk at graduation or losing your grades and everything you’ve worked for,” Patel said. “It’s something that can ruin everything so easily, but also something that can also be prevented so easily. Red Ribbon Week reminds us of all of this.”