After a brief introduction by our local EMS deputy chief, and Officer Artman, students in the auditorium watched a "back story" video about nine students getting pictures before prom. The video showed a group of students meeting up for pictures (with one slightly under the influence) and then driving off to the big night, only crash en route. Ending with a blackout and the sound of a collision, the student population was then taken outside to see two actual crashed cars, filled with the students from the short film. Some were trapped in their vehicle, others were critically wounded, and some were even dead on arrival. Complete with firetrucks, EMTs, police, fake blood, crashed windshields, and even a life-flight helicopter, juniors and seniors got a chance to witness what a serious car accident actually looks like. Speaking for myself, even though I knew it was fake, when the student actors started screaming to be cut out of their car, and crying over the death of their friends, it was easy to forget it was a simulation. I hope some of the images and ideas presented today had a lasting effect.
After lunch, the Junior and Senior class witnessed a mock funeral for the deceased students, a talk-back from the actors, and were asked to think about their legacies and pledge not to drink and drive. It's an old slogan and campaign, sure, but it's something that week after week, students continue to do. Obviously no one intends to get drunk, crash their car, and kill a friend, but nevertheless it still happens. If students learn to break through the "it will never happen to us" mentality (which is very difficult for young people, including myself), maybe they'll be able to prevent these terrible accidents from becoming more than a "mock" event.
As always, my sincere thanks to all the staff, police, EMTs, fireman, and of course the students who helped put this all together. They transformed it from being a stereotypical PSA into an experience their peers will take with them forever.