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High school students learn valuable lesson during prom season

posted May 25, 2018, 10:38 AM by Cheryl Shuffler
Photo: These students in black T-shirts with faces painted grey represent those who were taken by the Grim Reaper throughout the day Thursday at East Burke High School during the Keys to Life Program.

By Student News Ambassador Garrett Moore

East Burke High School students took part in the Keys to Life Program on Thursday, May 24, a program designed to give students and the community a first-hand look into the consequences that come from drinking and driving. With big events such as prom and graduation right around the corner, students are more prone to peer pressure in taking part in drinking while driving and are unaware of the possible deadly consequences that can come. The national statistic is every 15 minutes someone is killed from an alcohol-related car accident nationwide. Every 15 minutes throughout the school day Thursday at EBHS, car crash and heartbeat sounds were played over the intercom symbolizing the life of someone being taken. The Grim Reaper appeared in classrooms to take students away as victims of death. The students returned to class with faces painted grey and wearing black T-shirts to take on the full role. With an obituary being read aloud to the class students were able to see fully what it’s like to have someone close being taken away from them.

If the deaths weren’t enough to see the impacts, Thursday afternoon students were lead to the stadium to see an eyewitness account into what an actual alcohol-related car accident is like, through a simulation. As students filled the stadiums stands, the horror and gruesome events unfolded before their eyes. They heard the cries of their peers and saw blood and bruises on the crash victims’ bodies. The sounds of sirens, the sights of police, fire, and EMS all brought the simulation to life. Students were able to see right before their eyes what it’s like to see peers arrested for drunk driving or a best friend zipped up in a body bag. This is a lesson for everyone to take action and be responsible when peer pressure sets in and learn to say “No.” Don’t partake in the consequences that can come from drinking and driving and be an advocate for others to not fall to the hand of the Grim Reaper when it comes to drinking and driving.

A special thanks goes out to Carolinas HealthCare System Blue Ridge as well as area law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS crews, first responders and EBHS students for participating in Keys to Life. Other sponsors included NC Alcohol Law Enforcement, the NC Governor's Highway Safety Program, Chick-fil-A, Jake's Towing and Wendy B's who supported this educational program.