Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,

Kings' Courier

Every 15 Minutes

This+image+is+from+the+program%27s+website.+
This image is from the program's website.

This image is from the program's website.

This image is from the program's website.

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With prom around the corner, teachers, parents, and emergency personnel are on edge. High school students are going to go out and have the time of their lives; however, it could be the last time they ever do anything. Drinking and driving is a major issue in our society today. It ruins the lives of many, and in more extreme cases, it takes the lives of some.

“Every 15 Minutes” is a program used to teach the dangers of drinking and texting while driving. It allows teenagers to see how dangerous drinking and driving can be, but it does not have the real-life risks. According to the program’s website, “Life’s lessons are best learned through experience. Unfortunately, when the target audience is teens and the topic is drinking and texting while driving, experience is not the teacher of choice.”

Recently, Carroll County High School hosted the program at its school. They have hosted the program in prior years, and each time, it has seemed to put a lasting impact on their students. The object of the program is to stage a fake accident in order to show the real-life actions. The school had the local police and fire departments, hospital, courthouse, and even morgue come together to pull off this amazing program.

The school notified parents, faculty, and the students that the program would be taking place. A Grim Reaper walks around school and pulls out a student every 15 minutes for the duration of a day. They are pulled every 15 minutes because a drinking and driving accident occurs every 15 minutes. After the student is pulled out of his/her class period, a police officer will walk in and read the student’s obituary. The parents are notified about the death of their child. The student will have his face painted white to symbolize his death. He is not allowed to speak to his friends or family. He must walk around school, acting as if he’s a ghost.

The program continues for two days. After the first day, the students claimed by the Grim Reaper are not allowed to go home. They must stay in a hotel for the night, and they are still not allowed to contact their friends or family. As they stay in the hotel, they must write a letter to their parents. The letter begins with:

Dear Mom and Dad, every fifteen minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision, and today I died. I never had the chance to tell you…….”

Parents of the deceased children are required to write a letter very similar to the one above. The letters will be presented the next day at school, where the school holds an assembly. During the assembly, police officers and others around the community are allowed to speak to the student body. The “Every 15 Minutes” program has someone who has lost a family member due to a drinking and driving accident speak to the community about the trauma he/she has experienced.

This program has done an amazing job with showing teenagers the consequences of drinking and driving. The students get to see the aftermath of a collision, watch emergency personnel tend to those who are wounded, and watch as their classmates are transported to the hospital for more care. The students who lost their lives get to see a morgue, and they also sit in on the court hearing. The student charged with drinking and driving sits through an actual court hearing, gets charged, and sits in a jail cell. The “Every 15 Minutes” program has allowed students the ability to see the real-life consequences without the real-life actions. Please drink responsibly and call someone if you are not in a position to drive yourself home.

Click the link below for actual footage of Carroll’s 2017 “Every 15 Minutes” video

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L48zIzr4-bg&sns=em

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7 Comments

7 Responses to “Every 15 Minutes”

  1. Lucy Wagoner on April 13th, 2017 12:49 pm

    My friend had the chance to participate in this and she loved it. She said it was sad but it truly did chance her perspective on drinking and driving. Great story!

    [Reply]

  2. Dixon Collins on April 17th, 2017 12:13 pm

    This sounds like a great program for the community to have. I think this would a great program for many schools to host in the future. Great article!

    [Reply]

  3. McKayla Ramsey on April 18th, 2017 9:02 am

    This sounds like something that really changed a lot of people’s perspectives on drinking and driving. This program could also be very effective here at Cass I believe! Great coverage on a very interesting story!

    [Reply]

  4. Savanna Thompson on April 20th, 2017 10:39 am

    I heard about this the Every 15 Minutes Program through one of my Carroll friends. He said it has a huge impact on the students. They get upset when their friends get taken by the grimm reaper, and when view the staged car accident, most of the students tear up. I think it sounds like an amazing and impactful program maybe one day Cass can demonstrate or allow us to take a trip to Carroll to join in on the experience. Great article!

    [Reply]

  5. Lilith Jay on April 24th, 2017 9:17 am

    This gave me some chills… I never knew such a program existed. I bet this has a huge affect on the kids who are chosen by the grim reaper. Working in an ER, I see first hand the effect of drugs, alcohol, and poor decisions. Why to shine light on such a huge problem. I am proud of your work!

    [Reply]

  6. julie haworth on May 3rd, 2017 10:15 am

    I wish we did this at our school. It would show the student here just how quickly we can lose a friend over something that could have waited.

    [Reply]

  7. Ryan Waters on May 11th, 2017 1:18 pm

    This sounds like a vey helpful and informative program. the students involved get the chance to see first hand most of the consequenses of drinking and driving. I hope that everyone involved gets to learn something from it.

    [Reply]

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Lewis Cass High School, Walton, Indiana,
Every 15 Minutes