Editorial: Red Ribbon’s message lost in dress-up days


Juleanna Culilap

Suggested changes in the state's social studies curriculum minimizes the importance of several significant figures in United State history and this is a disservice to students.

Red Ribbon Week is an American tradition that seeks to raise awareness for drug abuse. Schools across the nation participate in the campaign and attempt to educate students through engaging activities. But here on campus, Red Ribbon Week is executed ineffectively and falls short of its drug-free mission with much room for improvement.

The reality of it is, the week is nothing more than an excuse to wear something different to school. Some students and staff members take part and dress according to the theme of the day, but it does absolutely nothing to educate students on drug abuse.

Beyond that, hardly anybody has been participating and wearing clothes to go with the themes. As for the few people that do dress up, they might not even know the purpose behind it and costumes certainly do nothing to convey the mission of Red Ribbon Week. Rather than sparking a conversation on drugs, the few people in costume just leave students wondering why they are dressed so oddly.

Other than the dress up calendar, the school offers nothing else to engage students in Red Ribbon Week. There have been Redhawk Rants for suicide awareness and inclusivity and pep rallies for school spirit and to support breast cancer awareness, but no planned discussion or event for Red Ribbon Week whatsoever.

How is the school hoping to inform and educate students about drugs if they are not doing anything to address the issue? The complete lack of effort has left a lot of questions on why the school is participating in Red Ribbon Week anyways.

Students were not even made aware of Red Ribbon Week because of a gap in communication between the staff and students. The week was never properly announced, and no information about it can be found on the district site, school site, or Counselor’s Corner website.

The only significant acknowledgement of its happening is a poster in rotunda that states the dress up themes for each day of the week. If the school intended to involve students in a dialogue on drugs by playing dress up, planning no activities, and not informing students of the week’s existence, it is truly just a waste of resources.

Given that the school wants to participate in the week, a substantial effort to involve students must be made. Dressing up should be given a meaningful and drug-related purpose, or else it is just Halloween one week early.

The existence of Red Ribbon Week should also be publicized so that students are aware. The staff and students should engage in a dialogue with students, perhaps a Redhawk Rant, to communicate the long lasting and potentially life ending consequences of drugs. Letting students know how to get help would be another great thing to do. While the missed opportunity of Red Ribbon Week might seem insignificant now, it could have helped to save lives in the future.