Anyone can be a victim of a car accident anytime, anyday, and anywhere. This past week on January 19th, West Ranch High School participated in “Every 15 Minutes”. It is a program dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of drunk driving to all juniors and seniors in William Hart District.
All juniors and seniors were dismissed after a mock 911 call to the car accident scene on the street. Like a real situation, two cars looked like they had collided, and there were victims inside the car with blood on their bodies. The cars were completely broken down, and this accident was caused by a drunk driver. This exercise let students be cognizant of distracted driving. The victims of the car accidents were like “ghosts.” They were not allowed to interact with anyone for the rest of the simulation.
Every 15 minutes, West Ranch Television (WRTV) announced the victim. There was a scenario for each student, announcing how much impact they had on the school. It allowed students to experience what it is like to lose their close friends. Starting from 7:00 AM to 11:00 AM, the victims all together included sixteen students and one teacher.
Mr. Helm, who announced the victim’s background, noted, “On a lot of the students I was more engaged because I had more personal connections, so I had a little tearful moment for a minute. Professionally, I rehearse reading the script before the recording, but I had a little pause and loop because even though I knew it was a mock death, it showed a life that had plans and goals that no longer exists. I think this is a very important program, and I hope everybody takes it seriously.”Also, an anonymous junior victim stated, “seeing my family crying right next to me really spoke to me. I am glad West Ranch participated in this program.”
With deep emotions shared among the students, “Every 15 Minutes” ended with a lesson about the serious dangers of drunk driving.