S.W.A.T Champions Red Ribbon Week in Jag Territory

Isabella Cely-Garcia, Staff Writer


 A national institution, the Red Ribbon campaign has been an essential force against substance abuse for generations. Conceived in 1985 by the National Federation of Parents for Drug Free Youth, Red Ribbon Week lasts from October 23 until the 31st. It began as a grassroots movement trying to bring awareness to substance abuse among young people. Today, schools across the country, like our own, participate in the annual event. This year for Red Ribbon Week, our school’s newly-initiated S.W.A.T club led the event.  

   S.W.A.T, or Students Working Against Tobacco, organized the activities this year. Jasmyn Daniels, the Parliamentarian of the club, detailed their work. “I do believe that our club efforts are going to make a difference because we have seen a lot of participation from students. We also have been able to change a lot of students’ minds on drugs because a lot of them do not know how dangerous these drugs can be. We have more events planned where we hope to reach more students to teach them the facts and to help them stand up against peer pressure.” Red Ribbon Week is only one of the events that the club will hold in their effort to fight substance abuse among their peers. 

   S.W.A.T Co-President Amanda Roman believes the club’s dedication to the cause was effective in more ways than one. She assures students weren’t the only ones inspired to become more aware, but also the week strengthened her own belief in the fight against drugs. “Red Ribbon Week has made me more passionate to fight against drugs and create a drug free future. It was so amazing to see all the participation from students and it excites me to know that Pines Charter students are aware of the negative effects of drugs.”

   Even so, substance abuse is a daunting and serious issue to take on. In an effort to make the campaign more teen-friendly, the club made sure to make their activities for the week fun and light-hearted. The activities included having students wear mismatched socks, or brightly colored red shoes and laces. “Red Ribbon Week is a fun and inclusive way to get our message across,” Jasmyn Daniels explains. However, the importance of the week is not lost on students. S.W.A.T made sure to push the true message of Red Ribbon Week. Jasmyn explains that message solemnly saying, “More than 100,000 Americans died from drug overdoses last year, setting the highest record. Now is the time to rally against drugs!” 

   As Red Ribbon Week comes to a close, the club can only hope that their efforts were not in vain. Nevertheless, the fight against drug and alcohol use among teens continues to be an uphill battle, and this will certainly not be the end of their work. So for Charter’s brand-new S.W.A.T team, Red Ribbon Week only marks the beginning of a much longer fight to protect their community.