All week, LCHS has been promoting Red Ribbon Week to raise awareness about the importance of staying drug-free. To further boost this life-saving message, Head of Security Tanya Wilson and Sheriff Deputy Matejka organized a special event during Thursday's lunch period to educate students about the negative consequences of drugs and alcohol and to encourage them to take the Red Ribbon Pledge.
At this event, students were able to see a vehicle from a past, fatal DUI car crash as well as speak to local sheriffs and district nurse Chris Henry about any concerns or questions they had. The sheriffs from the Altadena station also brought along information about the Deputy Explorer Program, which allows people between the ages of 14-20 to explore their interest in law enforcement as well as develop confidence and leadership skills. Participants first apply for the program, and once accepted, they will receive special training and opportunities for ride-alongs. Interested students can contact the Altadena Sheriff Station for more information.
By participating in the tricycle simulation, students were able to experience the difficulty of trying to perform basic tasks while impaired. They wore specially designed goggles that blurred their vision and affected their ability to judge distance, similarly to the effects of many drugs and alcohol. To draw more people to the activity, Vice Principal Carnal challenged senior Abby L. to race!
The PTSA provided literature and snacks, and they announced the winnders of the LCHS Poster Contest.
After signing the pledge to be drug-free, students were invited to take pictures with actress Vanessa Marano, whose delightful presence added so much enthusiasm to the event. As shared by Vice Principal Hazlett, "We are so grateful to have Ms. Marano joining us for our Red Ribbon Week to help encourage our students to make the right decisions for their futures. Many of our kids know her from popular TV shows and we feel that her presence and positive encouragement may cause some students to think twice before they engage in illegal activiities. "
While finding engaging ways to talk to students about challenging topics is not always easy, it is certainly well worth the effort. As student Sophia K. expressed, "I think it's important to make a big deal about being drug-free because it's something everyone in high school has to go through. It's something we all have in common, so we should talk about it." Her friend Talia G. added, "I thought this was a really fun event and that it got the message out really well. It was really cool that Vanessa Marano could come and spread the message to lots of people."
Spreading that message in a memorable way is exactly what the faculty and staff of LCHS set out to do. As Dr. Gold summarized, "It's about finding ways to make the kids more knowledgeable about drugs and alcohol, to keep them informed so they can make good choices."