Every 15 Minutes Program Well Worth the Cost
April 20, 2017
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The Every 15 Minutes presentation brought controversy to Woodside students who have mixed reviews about the program’s approach to delivering their message about the repercussions of drunk driving.
The presentation involved an elaborate stage car crash scene set up on the football field, a grim reaper choosing victims of DUI crashes, and a funeral service for those whose lives had been ‘lost’. It effectively delivered an important, life saving message, but some Woodside students felt that the demonstration was a waste of the school’s resources, and there were better methods to introduce the same message to high school students.
The Every 15 Minutes program is important in providing an interactive, influential experience to students that may not realize the ramifications of their decisions.
The presentation obviously took a lot of resources, something that could only be done by people that cared deeply about the topic and understood how crucial the message was to pass on to people at that age.
The extreme nature of the demonstration was what caught most student’s attention.
“If you just sat in a classroom and they told you ‘don’t drink and drive’, you wouldn’t take it as seriously,” stated Hannah Alston, a Woodside senior and participant in the program.
The Every 15 Minutes presentation was designed to shock the audience, something that mere posters in a classroom can’t do.
“Some people are gonna take it as a joke no matter how you come across, and some people aren’t gonna listen,” Alston said.
The nature of both the crash scene and the funeral were somber and humorless; however, giggles and laughing could be heard throughout the audience. It is easy to make a joke of something that seems so far-fetched, but the statistics don’t lie.
According to the CDC, nearly 10,000 people in 2014 died in drunk driving accidents, in just the U.S. The rates of drunk driving are highest among young adults, making it important to spread awareness of the problem while they are still in high school before some can even drive.
Choosing diverse members of the Woodside student body to participate was also crucial in how the rest of the school interpreted the presentation. The ones attending the funeral were leaders in the Woodside community, and they were chosen to pass the message they learned on to their friends and peers.
Although many were surprised by the gory car crash scene, the funeral was what struck home for students.
“The first part was really graphic…the video, and everything that happens after shows that it’s not just a one-and-done thing, it keeps going and it affects more than people who were in the crash,” Alston said. “It pulls on people’s heartstrings.”
This was a central part of the Every 15 Minutes message, something you couldn’t learn from watching a PSA or looking at a poster; the consequences of a simple mistake affect not only us, but our family, friends, peers and everyone in our lives.
“Little decisions make such a big impact…that’s really what I’ve taken away from this whole event,” Alex Torres said, Woodside junior and one of the event organizers.
Rumors and speculation have floated around campus about how much the event cost the school, but Ms. Leslie With, Student Activities Coordinator and others in the program stress that the safety of their students is a much higher priority than dollar amount.
“Even if it just saves one life,” With said, “It’s worth it.”