by Renee Martin.
Cop cars, police officers, a helicopter, students all bloodied and injured, and one big crash. What’s happening?
A demonstration of a drunk driving accident.
There’s a statistic that says every 15 minutes someone dies in a drunk driving accident. A scary statistic for sure, but what does that have to do with us? Well, according to thousands of different sources, the percentage of teens drinking and driving and then dying because they got in a car crash is an extremely higher percent that people doing the same thing that are above the age of 24. Here’s another statistic: 70 percent of all teenagers drink alcohol.
So, to address this problem, North decided to have a demonstration of a drunk driving accident in the old tennis courts next to the student parking lot. Before that though, Death decided to pay a visit. You might have seen him in the halls that morning, collecting his victims. He wore a long, black cloak and carried his pointed axe. His cloak made him look like he was gliding and he moved slowly through the halls. A sheriff trailed behind him along with Renee (North’s police officer), a cameraman, two students, and two men with the word Chaplain on the back of their jackets. The Grim Reaper, Death, La Muerte, whatever you want to call him, he goes to the classrooms and picks out the students, many of them our beloved ASB team, that will be the victims in the crash. He lays one hand on their shoulder and guides them along, smiling at them through his Grim Reaper mask. Students pop their heads out of classrooms when they see him pass by to double check that they aren’t going insane. No, you’re not insane, it’s just Death collecting his victims.
A few selected students participated in the crash while juniors and seniors watched as bystanders. There was blood everywhere, all over the car doors and windshield.
“It was really intense and scary,” said Ben Wagner, a senior involved in the crash, who played a dead passenger. A police officer put a plastic cover over him, declaring him dead at the scene. Another senior was flown away in the Life Flight helicopter because the mock injury she received to her head was life threatening.
By the end of the day, Death himself visited our school and took 23 students. They didn’t go home that night, they went away to Camp Harlow to demonstrate that if you die, you don’t get to see your family again, ever. The assembly had slideshows, speakers, a pledge to not drink and drive, and a very well made student video of the demonstration, complete with makeup car crash wounds that were shockingly realistic. The North Eugene administrators really made their point clear with all of the theatrics. You could guess that they just want to shout at us from the rooftops a few words of advice for young drivers.
The Instructional Program Administrator, Courtney Leonard, who helped organize and plan a very large portion of the program gave this piece of advice, “I think the biggest difference we can make is by educating people– health curriculum in schools, public service announcements, and discussion from young age are all ways we can address the problem early and often. In addition, we can recognize the nature of adolescence is to experiment and as a school community, we have a responsibility to encourage and support safe and responsible teen behavior. This means getting students the help they need if drinking or other drug use is a problem, and impressing upon them the importance of having a trusted adult they can call if they are in trouble.”