Red Ribbon Week reminds students they can make difference

The unknowing confusion of how someone can be perfectly fine one minute, laughing along with friends and smiling happily with pride, to falling on the floor out of nowhere, with no reasons as to why. Then the despair and sorrow that follows after discovering how drugs took a life in an instant. Eyes filled with tears, hearts filled with heartache and minds filled with regret, wondering what if something was said or what if help was offered?

Since 1985, Red Ribbon Week has been education school-aged children on the dangers of drugs. Guest speakers, dress up days and pep rallies are implemented in elementary schools to get kids excited about the war on drugs. In high school, the week includes dress up days still encouraging students to say no to drugs. Students join in on the fun because of the message and it is a was their school spirit. 

“I participate in the dress-up days here at school and make sure no one around me is doing drugs,” freshman Mallori Mitchell said. “I’ve seen people change because of drugs, and I want to protect the ones I care about any way I can by telling them ‘don’t do drugs’ and being there for them in times of need.” 

For some students the week is a way to represent those they’ve lost to drugs and help others to live their best lives. 

“I’ve lost someone to drugs,” junior Kelly Navarro said. “Drugs can ruin your life and people need to know that it’s ok to say no to drugs. Students and others need to actually try to learn about the consequences and educate themselves on how to stay healthy and happy.” 

The long term effects drugs can have on people’s lives and understanding the consequences of putting one’s body and mind in danger is what Red Ribbon Week is all about.

“Red Ribbon Week is important to me because it keeps my friends and peers drug free and safe,” junior Mazzlyn Heyer said. “I know people who have passed away from drugs, it is a very traumatic experience from both ends and people need to make sure they know the harmfulness of what drugs can do, and encourage people to stay away from them. I show my support by remaining drug free and always encouraging others to do what’s right.” 

The week is a time for students to openly speak about what is important to them and how they can help save a life.

“Red Ribbon Week is important to me because many of my family members have passed away due to drug overdose,” sophomore Lily Griffin said. “Raising awareness makes me feel like maybe somebody else’s uncle, cousin, mom, or dad could be saved.”