Students participate in Every 15 Minutes program


Mock car crash victim junior Michelle Zimmerman is taken away in a stretcher during the Every 15 Minutes program.

By Julia Greenzaid, Online Breaking News Editor

Every 15 Minutes, someone in the U.S. is severely injured or killed in an alcoholic-related or distracted driving accident.  

The nationwide campaign, “Every Fifteen Minutes,” targeted at making teens think twice about the deathly combination of distracted and/or drunk driving, hit CHS Oct. 4. A student was pulled from class every 15 minutes throughout the school day, and a staged crash scene complete with powerful visuals, mock victims, an arrest and emergency medical response took place during lunch.

 “Our experience is that it’s not particularly effective to just hope students don’t ever do it,” assistant principal John Taylor said. “If students experience just a small taste of the loss of a classmate, they will make better choices when faced with an opportunity to engage in distracted driving.”

According to CHS program coordinator and former PTSA President Geri Shapiro, by pulling a student from class every 15 minutes throughout the school day, the national statistic of how many people are killed or injured “in auto accidents involving drunk or distracted drivers” is visually represented.

Chemistry teacher Wesley Russ was impacted when a student was pulled out of his class.

“It was sad,” Russ said. “It reminded me of past CHS students of mine that were killed in the last 11 years in accidents from drunk driving.”

 Many students shared astonished feelings.

Sophomore Oumar Souman was emotionally affected when his friend was pulled out of class to act as a crash victim.

 “I was in shock because I never knew anything like this could happen,” Souman said.

According to senior Sean Dunn, the mock crash scene sobered the community and caused everyone to face reality.

“While driving, I will definitely think twice before changing a song or asking my sister to check my texts,” Dunn said. “You don’t realize what could happen and think you are in a lull of safety.”

The program will continue tomorrow with a school-wide assembly and memorial service including speeches from state attorneys and a Wootton High School graduate who was prosecuted with vehicle manslaughter for an alcohol-related accident.


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