Despite disruptions, Red Ribbon Week will go on in 2020

While things will be curtailed due to the effects of COVID-19, Red Ribbon Week in St. Mary Parish will go on.
The theme for the week, which runs from Friday through Nov. 1, is “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Stay Away From That Stuff! Be Drug Free!”
Activities this year will be limited to certain actions each day. On Monday, students can wear red, while Tuesday is “Character Counts Day.” Wednesday, stu-dents are asked to wear orange in support of anti-bullying, and Thursday, Red Ribbon shirts bought for this year or any previous year may be worn. Friday, students are asked to wear purple to support the movement to stop domestic violence.
“Those are the only things that we’re really able to do,” St. Mary Parish Schools At-Risk Interventionist Gidget Everitt said. “We weren’t able to do our activities like visiting the schools, not having the motorcade, not having our other stuff.”
Also, the Parade of Schools, which is put on by the school system, and the Zoo-to-Boo, which is put on by St. Mary Outreach and supported by the school system, has been can-celled due to COVID-19, Everitt said.
While the purpose of Red Ribbon Week is to spotlight the impacts of drugs and alcohol, it’s something that is im-portant year round, Everitt said.
While the parish is not immune to other drug use, Everitt said the biggest problem she encounters in her job among St. Mary Parish students is vaping.
“It’s just huge,” she said. “We do educational classes. I know a lot of times people don’t think of nicotine as a drug, but it is the one that if you look overall, affects all of our schools.”
As for education, Everitt said a new program to supplement education on drugs and alcohol and other related information the school system already offers is planned, but it has been delayed from being introduced due to COVID-19, too.


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