Yesterday morning the local high school put on a program for juniors and seniors on the dangers of drinking and driving. The prom is next weekend and with the epidemic of "senioritis" this time of year, the school rightly believed that words of reminder and warning were warranted.
The Chief of Police, the Captain of the Fire Department, a mother whose son and nephew were killed in separate car accidents, and I spoke after a twenty minute video was shown, depicting a teenager dying at a party from alcohol poisoning.
Each person brought his or her own personal experience to the discussion and I was so pleased to hear how articulate and to-the-point my colleagues were that morning. My task was to talk to the students about the deep sorrow and grief that parents experience at the death of a child; and to remind them that our actions unavoidably impact those around us.
It was a wonderful program and judging by the reaction of the students, the message was heard. Of course, there will be those who will go to the prom and not drink afterward. They need no words of warning. Then there will be those who will drink no matter what. Their "stupidity factor" is so high that nothing will convince them otherwise. The remainder are those students who are on the fence and who can be persuaded one way or the other. Hopefully, we were able to push those individuals over to the right and responsible side.
When I graduated from high school some twenty-seven years ago, nothing like what I experienced yesterday ever took place. It is a discussion that is long overdue; thank God it is now taking place.