The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


The student news site of Corona del Mar High School


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Red Ribbon Week

A picture of the Friday break time activity through the drunk goggles that the players wore. Photo courtesy of Kaydence Osgood.

October has brought its usual traditions: longer nights, PSL craze, Halloween plans, and the annual Red Ribbon Week. Every October, schools across the country embark on their week-long campaign designed to inform students about the dangers of drug usage and underage drinking, as well as encourage children, of all ages, to take a pledge to be drug and alcohol free. CdM’s leadership club, Peer Assisted Leadership (PAL), organizes Red Ribbon Week every year. PAL, which requires its members to take drug and alcohol free pledges and hosts affairs throughout the year to educate students about these substances, filled the week of 10/23-10/27 with events to portray the message of the national Red Ribbon Week campaign.

The week played out as follows, on Monday they partnered with ONE on Campus to hold a panel about accidental overdose, a poster was posted in the quad on Tuesday for students to sign and make a pledge to be drug and alcohol free, America in Track held a booth at lunch to teach students about the dangers of vaping on Wednesday, and to end the week they held a break time activity where a few members of CdM’s football team put on drunk goggles and played catch. Safety and linebacker for CdM football, Dillon Lane participated in Friday’s break time event. He described how much the goggles altered his vision and how it shifted everything around. The experience proved to him that “… trying to drive or doing anything like that [under the influence] would be unethical, as well as dangerous. Anything that has to involve your vision would be changed; you wouldn’t be as good as you usually are.” On Red Ribbon week as a whole, he feels that it “definitely brings a lot of attention to all of the drug and alcohol use from kids our age. I think that it’s very common in this area and I think the more attention to it can be a good and bad thing because it may cause some kids to think more experimentally, but also brings about knowledge of a lot of the bad things can happen and what it can lead to and obviously the harms of alcohol use and drug use at a young age.”

Monday’s PAL informational panel was in partnership with ONE On Campus and started the week off strong. Held that afternoon at the Newport Beach Civic Center, the panel was open to all students and parents who wanted to attend; both students from PAL and One were also in attendance. A senior PAL student, Katie Rinker attests to the importance of events like this one; “It is important that a young audience can know the dangers before being surrounded by substances.” After the initial reception, Lynn Peterson-who helped found ONE On Campus-began her introduction. She shared information about substance abuse, and introduced the panelists; Charles Oyas, G.W. Mix, Candy Finnegan, Sabrina Fabbri, John Lieberman, and Aja Chavez are all experts in their fields and on the topic of accidental overdose. With both Charles Oyas and G.W. Mix being CdM faculty members, they were able to offer a unique on-campus perspective. Jodi Barber, who is also very involved on campus, shared a personal story about how accidental overdose affected her family, and correlated the opioid epidemic of the 2010’s with the current fentanyl crisis. Her son Jarred Barber overdosed on prescription drugs in 2010, and hearing this tragic example only solidified the need for awareness and an open dialogue about substance abuse. Rinker was moved by this and “learned that accidental overdose is a huge problem.” She warns that “the dangers-overdose, fentanyl poisoning, and cancer-are all real, be careful.” The evening concluded with a Q&A in which parents and students asked questions and the panelists gave answers and advice. 

In all, substance abuse, accidental overdose, and addiction are all increasingly prevalent in today’s society and youth. It is important to spread awareness and educate students on the dangers posed such as laced substances and impaired driving in order to promote safe and informed decision making.


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