Crashing Awareness: The Every Fifteen Minutes Program

By Natalie Krafft

Every fifteen minutes someone dies in a drunk driving accident. On Wednesday, April 15th, Student Council and PAL teamed up under the leadership of Evie Suarez to reenact what it looks like on the school campus. They also took a student out of class every fifteen minutes, symbolizing that they had died. For the rest of the day, those students were silent. In addition to this, they recreated a crash scene between two cars and several victims.  Because of this, they also brought in two fire trucks, two ambulances, two police cars, and a helicopter for this.

Many students participated in this riveting act. What the students saw on campus was just the start. A filming went on to the hospital and even morgues to capture what happened after the accident. Two of our students ‘died’ that day, and one ended up paralyzed. Several of the students’ parents came in to be filmed with them.

The school had the opportunity to see these filmed events the next day, the day before Senior Trip. Emily Schulze, a senior, witnessed this and said: “I thought it was sad and stereotypical. It didn’t really hit me until Mrs. Winters made me write notes to the dead kids in our class.”

In regards to the accident, Schulze stated, “I didn’t really have a reaction on Wednesday at the accident. It was on Thursday I was emotionally traumatized. The video of the accident and just watching what all actually goes on and having the parents be a part of the victim and identifying the bodies. A lot of them are friends of mine; it was just tough.”

Many students still felt that the school went overboard. Schulze disagreed. “In the words of Mrs. Milliken, it needed to be intense to really hit home.” The school should do it every once in a while, she stated, but doing it every year would cause it to lose its effect.

Evie Suarez put many hours into this, along with everyone else involved in it. It was thoroughly executed in the eyes of many of the students and something that really had an effect on them. They all took home the message of ‘don’t drink and drive’ and ‘don’t get into a car of someone who has been drinking.’

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