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Red Ribbon week helps start conversations about drug abuse

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Ladue students sign their names on a poster after taking a pledge that promotes being drug free.

Ladue students sign their names on a poster after taking a pledge that promotes being drug free.

Photo by Max Baker

Photo by Max Baker

Ladue students sign their names on a poster after taking a pledge that promotes being drug free.

Julia Biest, Copy Editor

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Throughout high school, many teenagers will face peer pressure to try alcohol or drugs. This week, Ladue students teamed up with counselor, David Tabscott in order to promote safe and drug free lifestyles.

During the week of Oct. 23-27, students, like sophomore Ida Chen, organized various activities for each day to celebrate Red Ribbon Week. These activities, like a poster contest, started conversations among the student body to stop alcohol and drug abuse.

“Red Ribbon Week is important because we want kids to act safely as they move [to] high school and if kids are already doing drugs to try to quit,” Chen said.

Although this was the first year that Ladue hosted a week full of festivities for Red Ribbon Week, this is a large, nationwide movement. According to redribbon.org, approximately 80 million people across the country participate in activities related to Red Ribbon Week each year.

“I’ve been working with the Parent Association on another event, and they were like ‘We don’t have Red Ribbon Week,’” Tabscott said. “Then before you knew it, by the end of that meeting, I was doing Red Ribbon Week.”

On http://redribbon.org/, there are many examples of how schools and communities involved like a home decoration contest. Tabscott and a few students selected some of the ideas from the website that they thought they could pull off for the first year, like a scavenger hunt of 20 questions regarding drug and alcohol abuse placed around the building.

“We hung questions in the hall to test the kids knowledge about what they knew about drugs already and hoped their responses to those questions would change their decisions about doing drugs,” Chen said.

The other activities included two contests in which students could win gift cards: a poster contest on Tuesday and a wear red contest on Thursday. On Wednesday, during all lunches, there was a poster that students could sign in order to pledge not to use alcohol or drugs.

“I think that there’s probably lots of kids that would like to be drug free and they would like to say no to drinking and drugs, and if signing a pledge gives them the language to say no, even if it was for one person, it was totally worth doing.”

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Red Ribbon week helps start conversations about drug abuse