A Relaunched Red Ribbon Week


Bella Kim

Red Ribbon Week Poster

Bella Kim, Co-Editor

Let’s paint the town red because it’s Red Ribbon Week! The week of Halloween, October 26-30, McAuliffe will celebrate Red Ribbon Week to bring awareness to drug use prevention. ASB is putting together activities for students on campus as well as online learning students to help them “just say no.”

According to Just Think Twice, Red Ribbon Week began after Enrique “Kiki” Camarena, a Special Agent for the Drug Enforcement Administration, was killed by illegal drug dealers and people wore red ribbons in honor of his death. By pledging to live their lives drug-free, people can honor the sacrifices made by Kiki and others whose lives were ruined by drugs. 

Previously, McAuliffe has observed Red Ribbon Week by decking out the campus in red ribbons, handing out drug-free pledge bracelets and participating in themed dress-up days to “shade out drugs” or “team up against drugs.” Sydney Mastick, an eighth grader who was in the ASB club last year, expressed, “I really enjoyed what we did last year and I believe that Red Ribbon Week helps prevent the use of drugs and other things designed to harm yourself.” However, McAuliffe’s new Leadership/Journalism class thinks that dress-up days, while entertaining and enjoyable, do not exactly emphasize why you should stay away from drugs. 

To change things up, the Leadership class is going to “make Red Ribbon Week more informative,” says eighth grader Jenna Bustos, head of the Spirit and Activities committee. Bustos explains, “In the past, we did dress-up days, but those didn’t get the message across on why drugs are bad for you and why you shouldn’t do them.” Instead, to teach students about the consequences of doing drugs, Spirit and Activities has chosen a TED talk and put together a Google Form with questions about the video. 

The TED talk, “The Stigma of Addiction,”  features Tony Hoffman, who tells his story of becoming a drug addict and how he worked tirelessly to turn his life around despite all the people who did not believe he could. “This is relatable because he was a high schooler… not much older than us… little did he know that only trying it once was enough to change his life forever,” Bustos comments. When students watch this video, they will learn how the effects of one action can follow you for the rest of your life. 

In addition to watching “The Stigma of Addiction,” students will write what they thought of Hoffman’s story and their motivations to stay drug-free on a Google Form. Students’ responses will be written on red heart ornaments to decorate the campus along with red ribbons. Promising to say no to drugs, students will sign posters hanging on Core classroom doors. On Friday, Red Ribbon Week will conclude with a festive Halloween costume contest. 

Red Ribbon Week’s purpose is to inform people about the dangers of drug use, and when McAuliffe students pledge to live a drug-free life, they will secure a safe and successful future for themselves and the people around them.