Project Prom

Jimmy,Jaclyn, and Danny, staging an accident to teach their peers about the dangers of drinking,doing drugs, texting and using the cell phone while driving.
Jimmy,Jaclyn, and Danny, staging an accident to teach their peers about the dangers of drinking,doing drugs, texting and using the cell phone while driving.

It is the time for high schools across our great nation to start getting ready for the prom. What an exciting time for the kids, to dress up in their finest duds, beautiful dresses and great looking tuxes to attend their high school prom. Making decisions on who you are going to go to the prom with and what activities you are going to participate in the next day. It takes time and planning and is usually a big topic of discussion during this time of the year among the teenagers and their parents. 

But something most teenagers don't think about is safety. Some area schools have shuttles or trollys to help transport kids to and from the prom. But most kids don't want that. They have cars. And cars and teenagers is a topic for worry. Most parents won't sleep prom night just worrying about their kid. It is a worry shared by all parents across our nation on prom night. Drugs and drinking are a huge worry and a dangerous act that some kids participate in and it can destroy their lives. Another new concern these days is the use of cell phones and texting while driving. As we parents know an accident can occur in a split second. We do understand the finality of death but some teenagers think that something like an accident and death will never touch them. How wrong they are.

My son Danny standing next to the car used in the simulation.
My son Danny standing next to the car used in the simulation.

Project Prom

At the high school my son attends, every 3 years an accident is staged on the front lawn of the school to show the student body what can happen if they are doing things they shouldn't while driving. The community of police, firemen, and the coroners office help in the planning and implementing of this presentation. Usually 3 students are asked to be part of the simulation of a drunk driving accident. These 3 students are sworn to secrecy so that on the day of the simulation a degree of shock will be imparted upon the student body. My son Danny was one of the participants. The parents of the 3 students were informed of the presentation because of that shock factor.

On the day of the accident as it were, the 3 students arrived at school as they normally would, but went to the principals office instead of class. Their make-up was applied to each of them to simulate injury. The parents of the 3 kids were also present to take pictures. I informed the principal that I would be posting an article about this event online in several different places in the hopes of reaching more kids about this important issue. She agreed to this and loved the idea. All the parents also agreed to having their son or daughters pictured viewed online.

Once the make-up was completed the firemen and police explained to the kids what their role was and how to perform. One student would be the drunk driver and only slightly injured. The female Jaclyn was that driver. One student would be critically injured and would be laying half way outside the car through the windshield and that was Danny my son. The other student would be some feet away from the car, lying on the ground and he would be dead. That student was Jimmy.

Once all the kids were in place, the firemen set off a loud firecracker to simulate the sound of the crash and an announcement was made for all students to go to the front lawn. The police, paramedics and the fire department arrived on the scene and went about their tasks. It was determined that the student away from the car was deceased and was covered with a sheet for the whole student body to see, and let me tell you that was when I started to cry. It was shocking to see. The paramedics were attending to the student who was critical on the hood of the car and the police started to question the driver. The drug dog was brought in and found drugs and booze in short order. The coroner was called and took pictures of the deceased student and the funeral home was called and arrived. The driver was given a sobriety test, arrested, handcuffed and taken away in a police car. The critical student was treated on the scene and taken to the hospital by ambulance. All while this was going on another firemen was explaining what was taking place and the many dangers of doing drugs, drinking, texting and using the cell phone while driving. All the parents in attendance were sobbing me included. I looked at some of the kids closest to me and some were visibly upset and some were not.

To make this all as real as possible the 3 students involved with the simulation were not in school the rest of the day. The next day the high school staged a funeral with casket and all for the student body to witness. The driver was in attendance in prison garb and handcuffed. The other 2 students were not there as one was the deceased student and the other was in the hospital due to injuries. Of course this was all staged and no one was in jail or otherwise. Again these 3 students had the day off to make this as real as possible.


Jimmy the deceased student
Jimmy the deceased student

The Point of All of This

Some people may think that this was way to graphic a demonstration, but in my opinion, sometimes a kid has to be shocked to understand. I know when I was a teenager I thought nothing could hurt me, until I lost a friend to drunk driving. For me the most awful thing that could happen in my life today would be to lose my child. If they are shocked by this, if they have nightmares, if they can't sleep thinking about what they saw. OH WELL. Better that than being dead, better that than being in an accident where they lose a friend or become so injured they lose some of their mental capabilities or become paralyzed and spend the rest of their life in a wheelchair. Or lose a limb or any of the other horrible things that can happen in an auto accident. To graphic you say. I don't, I think they need to see this kind of stuff. Maybe they will think twice about getting into a friend's car who they know has been drinking or doing drugs. I think this type of simulation or demonstration should be adopted by more schools to show these kids that death is final and that it can happen to anyone, even them. If this demonstration can reach just one kid, make them think twice I think it was worth it. There is a commercial on TV by Allstate Car Insurance and they say something that tears my heart out every time I hear it, it goes like this,   6000 kids go out for a ride every year..........and never come back.

Look at the pain in her face but it's too late.
Look at the pain in her face but it's too late.
Paramedics attending to the critically injured student.
Paramedics attending to the critically injured student.
DECEASED
DECEASED

Show Your Teenagers

If you have a son or daughter maybe they should read this article. If you are concerned this is to graphic, think how much more graphic the horror movies are that the kids like. That is fake, this is reality. My son doesn't drink or do drugs, he signed a contract with me and the school. He is a member of Captains, a school organization of students that hate drugs and drinking and are examples to their peers. I know what you are thinking and you are right, how do I really know he is not drinking and doing drugs. But that is the point how do any of us as parents really know for sure. The answer to that is WE DON'T, we can only hope.

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Comments 22 comments

Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Wonderful article, thank you. I know we can talk until we are blue int he face and yet they don't think of realize that it us who have to bear it for the rest of our lifes.


Kay Creates profile image

Kay Creates 6 years ago from Ohio

I think this is a great program with memories that will stay with them and hopefully keep them safe. It's probably far more effective than just verbal warnings.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thank you Hello,Hello, it is true, they just don't understand I think all schools across the country should do this sort of thing. Thanks so much for viewing,

Thanks so much Kay I thinks it a very worth while program and hope it continues for years to come. Thanks so much for reading my hub.


Jen's Solitude profile image

Jen's Solitude 6 years ago from Delaware

Wow, what an impressive presentation. Your son's school obviously cares greatly for the student body to go through all of these staged presentations to awaken students. If it saves one kid from drinking, driving and dying it will sure be worth it. I am sure though, more than one child was positively effected by what they saw!


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks Jen and I do hope it affected some of the kids, I know us parents were informed of the simulation and we still all sobbed like babies. Thanks so much for viewing Jen.


Lady_E profile image

Lady_E 6 years ago from London, UK

Wow. It certainly brought the message Home. Its nice the firemen got involved too - it made it look so real. It's an experience I'm sure your son found challenging (the acting) and will always remember.

It would have been a good idea to video it and send it to other schools to watch. May our kids stay safe. :)


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

The school did video tape it, I don't know if the plan is to share it with other schools but it's a great idea. My son had fun doing this but it was heartbreaking to watch, that's why the school fore warned us parents of the students involved with the presentation. Thanks so much for viewing Lady E.


agusfanani profile image

agusfanani 6 years ago from Indonesia

It's a very positive event, I believe students can learn the lesson in much more effective and fun ways.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I think it was a good thing. Thanks for reading my hub agusfanani.


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, fishtiger. Wow. This was beyond genius. What a fantastic idea. This is so important. I wish they would do this sort of thing in England, there are so many school kids getting hurt or killed because this country is too soft with this sort of message. Rated up, and i will post it on reddit. I am also going to send it to my local online paper, to see if they will print it for you. well done for bringing this to our attention. Nell


Nell Rose profile image

Nell Rose 6 years ago from England

Hi, forgot to say I twittered it too. Nell


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks so very much Nell, like I said if one child can be saved because of this demonstration or my article then it's all well worth it. Thanks for all you are doing.


mulberry1 profile image

mulberry1 6 years ago

Kids aren't the only ones who have a hard time grasping the ugly realities of situations. I don't think this is too graphic at all. I worked in rehab and I've treated many vicitims of drunk drivers. Prom time always brought a spike in our census. We had a program that brought kids caught drinking into the hospital. They had to see the consequences. They had to see the kids who had a crash and could no longer walk and talk but instead sat and drooled. They had to witness an autopsy, and so forth. Repeat offenders seldom occurred after going through the program.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

thanks mulberry I don't think it was to graphic either, it was a good teaching tool.


wavegirl22 profile image

wavegirl22 6 years ago from New York, NY

fish. .all I can say is Bravo! this should be a must see for any kid going to a Prom and for their parents as well. My hat goes off to these kids. . great super job!!


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks wave my son is pretty proud of the whole thing. The school video tapped it so I'm hoping it will be shared with other area high schools.


wrenfrost56 profile image

wrenfrost56 6 years ago from U.K.

Your right, sometimes teenagers do need to be shocked into understanding. Graphic yes, necessary absolutely.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

Thanks so much wrenfrost. I totally agree.


mhuze profile image

mhuze 6 years ago from USA

I completely agree with you about the staged accident. Hopefully, the kids who witnessed this will be more responsible.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 6 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

I sure hope so not just during prom weekend but all the time. Thanks mhuze for reading my hub.


2patricias profile image

2patricias 5 years ago from Sussex by the Sea

What a good idea - thanks for sharing this. When Pat was in primary (elementary) school some of the kids had to cross a multi-track rail crossing. The railway company showed a film about the dangers of crossing the line and Pat is still extremely cautious. She was about 7 - maybe teenagers are too old to be shocked.

However, if it only helps one or two kids to take a more responsible attitude it would be worth it.


fishtiger58 profile image

fishtiger58 5 years ago from Momence, Illinois Author

You could be right about showing this to kids younger than the teen years, I hope it helps kids stay out of this kind of danger, they just don't understand death. Thanks so much 2patricias for reading my hub.

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