I may be several thousand miles away from the school system I had my kids enrolled in, but via social media I am still able to keep up with the annual events. Not long ago, I was making my way through my Instagram feed when I came upon images from friends who were sending their kids off to the various themed days of Red Ribbon Week, the daily observances of which involve dressing up in various silly ways and learning about drugs. It’s a connection that still baffles me.
If you are not accustomed to this tradition, it is sort of inextricably aligned with Nancy Reagan’s drug free agenda of the 1980s, though it seems to have had its own distinct roots. There is some criticism that this was a period of time when the increased criminalization of drugs was more or less a cover for incarcerating minorities. Beyond that, I have additional reasons for disliking the week.