Red Ribbon Week Offers Realistic Experiences

Ryan Olarte, Writer

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Every year, Be The Change (BTC)  promotes Red Ribbon Week around the campus; this year, BTC went as far as preparing a drunk driving simulator to show students the danger of alcohol.
Students from Be the Change, led by English teacher Karen Kostrencich, organize events to encourage safe behavior.
“Red Ribbon Week is used to raise awareness for teen alcohol use and drug abuse,” Junior and BTC member Kate Kresser said.
Some students are not aware of many of the risks associated with these substances, so BTC, along with the school and the PTSA, showed students how harmful these substances truly can be.
In anticipation of Red Ribbon Week, some third-period classes were able to attend an assembly from the Los Angeles Sparks that raised awareness for illegal substances, specifically vaping, as well as some issues on discrimination. All the students and teachers that attended got two complimentary tickets to the Sparks’ Home Opening game.
On Monday October 29, the first day of Red Ribbon Week, about 200 PVHS students signed their names on backdrop pledge promising to not fall into drugs. Students also had the opportunity to plant a red tulip, which BTC called “Plant to Promise,” that will grow in the spring to represent Red Ribbon Week and safe students.
On Tuesday, BTC and the PTSA organized an assembly bringing in a guest speaker during fifth period. Many teachers elected to bring their classes to the gym to support Red Ribbon Week.
The guest speaker shared his experiences with drugs and alcohol now being sober for 25 years.
“He engaged the students with his life stories,” freshman Calvin Barnum said.

On Thursday, students had the opportunity to experience what it is like to drive intoxicated. BTC put together a drunk driving simulator that allowed all students to encounter driving intoxicated.
“There was a filter when driving, so when you feel like you are driving properly, you swerve which could cause an accident,” Kresser said.
According to the CDC, Only 0.08% blood alcohol concentration is required to increase the chances of a fatal car crash in youth by 17 times. High school students are the most vulnerable to intoxicated driving that leads to death.
On Friday, BTC handed out lollipops to secure the message saying not to do drugs in a friendly, inviting way.
Red Ribbon week showed students how to stay safe, especially in a time where common substances can be dangerous when used irresponsibly.

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