'DEAD' GRAPHIC DEMONSTRATION
Seven 8lack-Ciud West Students
Teii The Drunk-Driving Story
BY MARJORIK MKGIVKRN
Seven black -clad, while-faced stu
dents at West Brunswick High
School (WBHS) gave a graphic
demonstration last Thursday of the
consequences of driving drunk.
Simulating corpses, they went
through the school day without
speaking and placed their own home
made tombstones in the front hall of
The message over die tombstones
read, "SADD Cemetery; Don't Drive
Drunk." The messengers werc mem
bers of Students Against Driving
Drunk (SADD) who had sponsored a
day of drug and alcohol awareness
programs last Wednesday.
While the heads of juniors and se
niors were filled widi visions of prom
night, Don Gates and Rita Hatcher,
anticipating this April 1 1 event, in
fused those visions with some hard
Deputy Gates, crime prevention
officer with the Brunswick County
Sheriffs Department, and Ms. Hat
cher. the school system's wellness
coordinator, brought the conse
quences of drinking, drug use and
driving to the attention of young peo
ple through videos and discussion.
The daylong series of presenta
tions brought all juniors and seniors
to the school library during their
English class period. There they saw
None for the Road, a hard-hitting
video dun featured statistics and in
fonnation about the effects of alcohol
and marijuana on die brain and on
Gates told die kids dial one out of
every 1 1 high school seniors uses
uuii ijuaiia uai'i). "WuCH uiCj j^iauu
ate with this habit, they just continue
it on the job," he said.
The results show up, among other
places, in highway statistics, he said.
"The risk of automobile accidents in
creases widi the use of marijuana. It
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" Drive as if every
other driver is
? Deputy Don Gates
impairs skills and perception and
judgment and the effects arc different
on different people. For everyone, re
actions arc delayed."
Students were treated to a view of
the highway and traffic through the
eyes of "stoned" drivers and saw a
clinical version of how the drug
works in the brain.
"A mixture of marijuana and alco
hol is twice as deadly," Gates went
One person is killed every 20 min
utes in an alcohol-related accident, he
The message for prom-goers?
"Drive as if every other driver on the
road is drunk," Gates warned. "On
prom night, nothing good happens af
ter 1 1 p.m. The average drinker con
sumes 3.3 beers and drunk drivers in
crease steadily after 1 1 o'clock till a
peak at 3 a.m. After that, these dri
vers arc either at home, the hospital
or the morgue."
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Ms. Halchcr told the kids, "We
want you to have a good time, but we
want it to be a safe time. We want
you around for a long time."
She said at the close of the day that
students had appeared to be very re
sponsive to the presentation.
"One boy shared the information
that his brother had been killed in a
drunk-driving accident," she said.
"We always ask them to shan: any
personal experiences of this kind."
Several students caine to the pre
sentation twice, she said, and others
brought their friends to sec it.
Mclba Johnson, WBHS English
teacher, is the SADD adviser there
and said the group now meets after
school and has declined from about
100 members to 25, "since we quit
meeting during the school day."
The West Brunswick prom was
held Saturday at Sea Trails Plant
ation, with a drug-free, alcohol-fret,
after-prom party at the 2001 night
club in Myrtle Beach, S.C.
Board Of Education
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