East promotes Red Ribbon Week in an effort to raise awareness against drugs

East promotes Red Ribbon Week

East promotes Red Ribbon Week

Joe Levin, Eastside Staff

Students at Cherry Hill East participated in the annual Red Ribbon Week activities last week, from October 27 to October 31, in an effort to raise awareness for alcohol and drug abuse in teens. The East community was asked to dress in specific clothing throughout the week, and the clothing choice for each day uniquely conveyed a different way of preventing drug use.

To commence the week, students wore jerseys on Tuesday, representing the idea of rallying against alcohol and drugs. Various types of jerseys were worn, ranging from jerseys of professional sports teams to jerseys of teams here at East. On Wednesday, students wore red clothing embodying the theme of “red” present in “Red Ribbon Week” and signifying a drug-free commitment.  On Thursday, students “put drugs to sleep” by wearing pajamas. This correlates with the idea of ending drug use. Since Halloween was on Saturday, the East community aptly wore Halloween costumes to school on Friday, connecting with the idea of scaring away harmful substances. While Red Ribbon Week does succeed in raising awareness of alcohol and drug abuse, some students feel as though East could be doing more to truly show what using alcohol and drugs can do to the human body.

“Dressing up in your pajamas isn’t going to stop people from smoking marijuana or shooting heroin,” said Kat Kazantsev (‘17). “We need videos and speakers and effective methods of showing kids our age what drugs can actually do to you.”

Perhaps having experts visit the school to teach about why students should not be using these substances would be a better way to raise awareness instead of solely implementing dress-up days.

“It’s a good way to raise awareness, but unfortunately I haven’t seen many changes,” said Sarah Jang (‘17).

Some students feel that Red Ribbon Week should lead to some type of observable change within the student body. Simply raising awareness doesn’t help students who are already hooked on harmful substances. However, the true purpose of Red Ribbon Week should not be overlooked. Red Ribbon Week is not expected to completely abolish alcohol and drug use; rather, it is a fun and cost-effective way of making students aware of the effects of alcohol and drugs, while allowing them to express themselves through their clothing.