Unity Day kicks off Red Ribbon Week


Kevin Guiterrez

Many students joined in on the festivities by challenging others in competitions or watching and recording their friends participate with good laughs.

As October came to an end, PLUS students wanted to honor the fact that it was Bullying Prevention Awareness Month, so they hosted Unity Day. This took place on Monday, Oct. 23, and was the kick off to Red Ribbon Week.

Unity Day consisted of teamwork and a lot of watermelon. At lunch that Monday, PLUS teacher Mary Stoner and some PLUS students organized a watermelon eating contest as well as a three-legged race. During the watermelon eating contest, students tried to keep their focus strictly on not gagging while they were trying to devour watermelon as quickly as possible. This activity started to gain an audience; peers gathered around recording, laughing, and encouraging the contestants.

Jasmine Jennings is a senior in PLUS and she explained the importance of this day. “It’s a great way for everyone at Stagg to bond and respect each other,” she said. “Having more days like this just makes the environment at Stagg more welcoming and fun, it makes kids want  to be here and get involved.”

Laughter was all that was heard as students tried their hardest not to fall while taped to their partner during the three-legged race; PLUS leaders encouraged all students to participate in each separate activity that they planned out for the week ahead.

Following Unity Day was Red Ribbon Week. Shania Larkin, a PLUS member since her freshman year, talked about why students should be more aware about the dangers of drug use. “People never know what they’re gonna get themselves into,” she said. “What if they try to smoke and their stuff is laced. There’s so many things that can be avoided by just saying no to drugs.”

On Tuesday, the Public Safety Academy staff organized for army sergeants to volunteer and set up a rock climbing activity to show the difficulties of climbing a wall without any restrictions . People challenged themselves to reach the top of the wall as peers cheered them on from every direction.

The following day, a huge army recreational vehicle was set up in front of the library, which was organized by PSA staff as well. Many students wondered what it was as they were walking to their sixth period. Questions were resolved after school when people realized it was for Red Ribbon Week.

The inside of the RV was dark and  looked like some sort of army tech room with many screens. The sergeants allowed only 12 people at a time inside the RV. When students entered the RV, a video was on display of a secret robot the army has been developing and some say it will be released in the year 2032. After the video, students entered through a clear door and on the other side was a total of 16 screens in all different shapes and sizes.

In that room, the games took place. Participants were asked to get into four groups of three. From there they competed in multiple games against each other to win a free army t- shirt. Students absolutely enjoyed friendly competitions and playing brain stimulating games.

One of the games played was a memorization game. Pictures were displayed on four of the 16 screens, they had to memorizes the photographs and rearrange them sort of like a puzzle, The rivalry was clearly evident as students began to get competitive when they noticed they were losing.

Red Ribbon Week and Unity Day tied students together and showed them that school isn’t all work and no play. Stoner and her PLUS students love organizing these activities and hope to have more successful lunch days. “Seeing students come together in a fun, positive way on campus,” Stoner said. “It just warms my heart.”