The Effectiveness of School Campaigns

The school annually attempts to educate students on larger issues than what is taught in classes, such as recent political events and different ways to stay healthy. During Red Ribbon Week, we get wristbands and flyers to inform us of the dangers of drug usage. Students also garner attention towards causes through trends such as not shaving for testicular cancer and wearing pink to symbolize a fight against breast cancer. However, these passive methods are not effectively delivering the messages being conveyed to the students.

It’s almost as if what we’re doing has become a humdrum of a routine. Each year, the traditional lunch time activities intended to teach character building or cooperation carry on without any real lesson being effectively instilled into the minds of students. They generally brush off the negligible school activities, which fail to emphasize the magnitude of the cause. Prizes and fun become the focal point rather than the severity of ailments or the history of the campaigns. Paired with the fact that there is no incentive for students to pay attention the slightest bit, the school activities prove unsuccessful.

Trends are easier to follow than to try to fully understand the concept around them. Not shaving for a month or simply wearing pink doesn’t actually teach anything about how to check or treat any signs of these deadly diseases. When the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge was around, many were quick to dump ice on themselves but not research the topic. The school may consider actually doing assemblies or broadcasts on these trends to not only brush off these negative connotations but providing concrete evidence as to how to help ourselves.

Since we have decided to educate ourselves through trends and weak promotion, students are exposed to only the more popular issues. For example, did anyone know that November is home to Eye Disease Month, American Diabetes Month and Lung Cancer Awareness Month? Not likely, even though the following those three conditions affect 17.2 percent, 9.3 percent and 7.6 percent of Americans in their lifetimes.

Some news topics are too “taboo” to talk about in classes because they involve death, murder or any other sensitive issue. Students are so busy with work it becomes hard to learn outside of social media. As a result, there are those who can perform the Fundamental Theorems of Calculus without a second thought, but not be informed in the slightest way of real news situations across the world. As we foster adults to go into the real world, it is important to consider the benefits of having some educational programs other than strict academic courses.

If we’re going to try to help students’ overall awareness, we should be spending more effort. Thirty minutes of mandatory lecture, rather than passively trying to work around the schedule, could be much more beneficial in the long run. The issues of health and real world news are just as, if not more important than the academic curriculum set in place.

By Brian Chen, Staff writer

Editorial Cartoon by Angela Zhang