Expectations vs. Reality: StuCo

Emma Bauer, Staff Writer

They have been around forever: Red Ribbon Week, Hats Off for Kindness, and Cancer Awareness week to name a few, functions of an organization, school, and StuCo as we know in high school. They are designed to raise awareness, for drug and alcohol abuse, mental health, you name it.  And while this sentiment is well intended, what is the true effect?

For functions such as these, students are asked to participate by something such as wearing a certain colored shirt for each day of the week. Chances are good that a small percentage of the school will participate, and the majority likely will not. Even with those who do, are they all honestly thinking about the meaning it carries? Or are they doing it for the free ice cream on Friday?

If these things were important to our community, would not they go further to make it more prominent? Face value is important. Dr. Nasra, our principal, makes a point of telling students how important values are, but what does it say when the repetitive dress code assembly has been attendance mandatory for all four years and not the Veterans’ Day assembly?

I would hope that the expectation for things like “Hats Off for Kindness” week is to spread awareness of mental health toour peers and those around us in general, to make us conscious of things like depression, anxiety, and so many more things like that that are present especially in this generation. To coax us to reach out.

To those it does not immediately affect, does it?

In reality, by some, maybe even most, this week is given a passing glance. Can’t we do better? An assembly that addresses all of our awareness weeks, explain their importance and relevance. Talk about charities or ways to help, introduce ways to donate. Something. Bring in local guest speakers. Maybe not even every year, or maybe a select few teachers like those for psychology and counseling and mental health address it in their classes. Or even chemistry, to explain the effects of drug and alcohol use to the brain.

In the past, Red Ribbon Week was well addressed, such as having an assembly where prison inmates or motivational speakers share ways their lives have changed due to drug use. Doesn’t mental health have at least some relevance or connection to this? There are ways to address something that is becoming such a commonality in peoples’ everyday lives in some form or another.