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Red Ribbon Week and Drug Prevention is "Failing"

Red Ribbon week at Eureka High School could use some major work...

In fifth period Geoscience, we received a pleasant surprise. Free candy? Yes please! Here's the catch. With every piece of candy handed out, the teacher was instructed to recite a cheesy catchphrase to encourage students not to do drugs. For instance, with a jolly rancher, they'd hand it to you and say "Be jolly! Say no to drugs!" and with a small lollipop, they were told to tell us "Don't be a sucker! Stay away from drugs!"

Needless to say, this caused massive amusement to the students, particularly the less-than-stellar students who laughed at the fact the school honestly thought they could curb illegal drug usage by giving out free candy.

Drugs are a problem at Eureka High School. I don't have a single class in which I can say that every student in the classroom is completely clean. Marijuana, in particular, seems to be quite rampant at our school. The availability of drugs isn't the only problem. It's the apathy of the teenagers' parents, who either aren't parenting correctly or simply don't care.

It's not unusual to sit in the library and hear conversations about smoking pot. As I sit here typing, I'm listening to a group of guys talk about how they like to blow smoke from pot in their pets' faces and watch their helpless animals react to the drugs.

Red Ribbon Week, in my mind, is a failure. Most students have no idea the impact drugs have on their bodies. Those that DO know the impact, simply don't care.

If you want to gain a solid distaste of humanity, walk through the halls of a high school...it's natural selection at its finest. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't utterly ashamed of my generation.

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Angelina Vitale November 06, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Mr. Stanley, I respectfully request, as a RSD parent and medical professional, that you, as a public high school educator, engage in serious introspection about the potential impact/influence of your below-stated public opinions/statements. We are not dealing with the 60s and 70s in terms of drug use or its far-reaching impact and irreversible, devastating consequences on our youth. The choice to use drugs should NOT be considered a simple mistake of youth. Nor do these "poor choices" exist in a vacuum, with addiction as the ONLY impact. THINK: STDs, including HIV/AIDS and carcinogenic HPV, car accidents, teen pregnancies, high school dropout rates, violence, bullying, crime, suicide, homicide, and the beat goes on. Do you realize the sheer sociocultural magnitude of drug experimentation of today's youth? The best proactive prevention to all of the above maladies is to simply avoid drugs that impair one's ability to THINK clearly. And we are charged, as mature adults, parents, and teachers to model and teach by appropriate behavior and words that even "drug experimentation" is never an intelligent choice. I would be extremely disappointed and angry with you if you were my adolescent's favorite teacher, as those teachers have a lot of power over students' choices. And with that power comes responsibility, Mr. Stanley. I challenge you to please spend some time in self reflection and education on drug use instead of defense of your preposterous personal positions.
Angelina Vitale November 06, 2012 at 02:32 PM
Mr. Stanley's Public Opinions: "Our students are athletes, scholars, and friends. Ultimately they are young. As a result they may make mistakes..." "The reality is that even the students described in the article that are making seriously poor choices as teenagers, will mostly grow up to be decent human beings and contribute to society." "Statistics show that while a most teens will try illegal drugs, there is a very small population of adults that are regular users. (http://www.drugabuse.gov/publications/drugfacts/nationwide-trends)." "I do understand that drug use is on the rise, and agree it is a problem. I am in no way minimizing those that become addicts or die..." "I had friends in high school that made really bad decisions, such as using illegal drugs, yet at the same time they also did things like participate in teaching art classes to students with special needs and contributing time working for Habit for Humanity. How would you classify them I wonder?"
Tired of waste November 08, 2012 at 10:41 PM
this is not just a drug problem at EHS it is at Marquette as well. My son tells me stories about what goes on....it would curl your hair. He knows who is using,dealing and suppling the drugs at this school. He has told the administrators and they throw up their hands and say your word against theirs.... These schools need to have locker searches, lock downs, dogs sniffing clothes etc. by surprise of course. and "weed" the users and the dealers out of the school. A fear of going to jail every few months and exposing these users to the rest of student body would hopefully scare some straight. If we turn our heads to these issues and pretend they will go away we are fooling ourselves. The Kum bi Ya times of the 80s and 90s are over. It didn't work....now it is time to get tough.... Poor choices by students have consceqences. Maybe with junior loses his scholarship or graduation date will wake some parents up...
Olivia Bleeker November 09, 2012 at 10:28 PM
Miss Di Valerio, I appreciate you writing this article, first of all. Your ideas and opinions are most definitely well thought out and clearly conveyed. As a Eureka High School student myself, I agree that drugs are a problem that, most likely, will not be stopped with a piece of candy alone. But, I just want to say that, despite this fact, there are many groups around the school such as Student Council, FCA, or, even a group that reaches out to "inner beauty", that do an amazing job to advocate good throughout the school. And, like I previously said, candy alone will not work. I do agree with you, Miss Di Valerio on this. But, we do need to start somewhere. I personally have a great deal of respect and admiration towards countless students at the high school who display maturity and wisdom to advocate living lives that help others as well as themselves. Like Mr. Stanley said, our generation performs more hours of community service than any other. Statements like these make me incredibly pround and honored to be living in the generation that I am living in.

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