By Ava Klein
Red Ribbon Week, organized by Mira Costa’s People Attaining Complete Equality program, occurred during the week of Oct. 25-29 with a multitude of activities and decorations, as well as an assembly to promote drug and alcohol awareness.
The event is used to teach students about the effects of substance abuse. PACE hoped to make a lasting impression by demonstrating the effects of drug and alcohol use.
“We hope to provide information and insight about drugs and other substances to students which will hopefully effect decisions that they make in the future,” PACE advisor Dr. Rocky Wilson said. “Red Ribbon Week is all about the awareness about things that are especially prevalent in high school.”
An assembly on Oct. 29 consisted of three speakers, Heather, Mason and Tyler, who talked about their personal experiences with drugs and alcohol. This year, the drama program acted out skits of the speakers’ experiences, instead of speaking on a panel.
Each scene displayed the effects that drugs and alcohol had on the speakers’ personal life and relationships with their friends and family. After each scene, the speakers talked about the consequences and hardships they faced, as well as waiting outside to answer questions students had.
“I feel that a dramatic reenactment of each speaker’s past experience with drugs and alcohol was much more effective than having an ordinary panel like last year. I hope it will hit the students harder,” junior Emily Gold said.
According to PACE members, this year’s assembly was more effective to Costa students.
“We have never used the drama program to hold skits, only a panel. It gives students insight to the consequences of substance abuse,” senior Megan Alexander said.
There was some controversy over the speakers. Some teachers and students were offended by their use of profanity and vulgar body language as well as their unclear stance as to whether or not it is acceptable to use drugs.
“The assembly on Friday was really controversial, and at some points I was taken back by what the speakers were saying. It still explained the affects of drug and alcohol abuse, but I feel that the panel last year was more effective to Costa students,” sophomore Carly McGuire said.
PACE members put up posters with statistics on drug and alcohol-related deaths. They also created a mock graveyard in the choir rose garden, with names of Costa students who “died,” listing fake causes of death on tombstones.
“We are trying to improve Mira Costa by making our campus and community drug free,” sophomore PACE member Christine Kuhns said. “We hope through the posters with statistics it will leave a lasting impression and wake students up to the consequences of drugs and alcohol.”
Last week, PACE students went to elementary and middle schools to emphasize the importance of Red Ribbon Week. While at the schools, students made speeches about using drugs and alcohol.
“Our main goal of traveling to schools is to raise awareness from a very young age. We are not preaching anything; we are just providing students with information to help them make wise decisions,” Wilson said.