La Mirada High School Students Take Part in “Every 15 Minutes” Program
La Mirada High School students recently attended an educational program on the devastating impacts drinking and driving can have on friends, families and the community.
“This program is a tremendous cooperative effort involving La Mirada High School, the City’s Public Safety Team, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s and Fire Departments, and California Highway Patrol,” says Safety Education Officer Mary Cipres. “It aims to discourage underage drinking, especially drinking and driving.”
During the first day of the program, 36 students were removed from class every 15 minutes by a member of the City of La Mirada’s Public Safety Team and a volunteer dressed as the grim reaper. The dramatic visual exit of the students leaving class with the grim reaper was meant to illustrate the National Highway Transportation Safety statistic that someone dies in an alcohol related collision every 15 minutes.
After leaving class, the juniors and seniors were escorted to the front of the school where they witnessed a simulated crash scene in which student volunteers were involved in a fatal pedestrian collision. One of the students was pronounced dead on arrival, another was airlifted in critical condition, and the driver was arrested for driving while under the influence.
After the stimulated collision, the students visited the Olive Lawn Cemetery and then spent the night at the La Mirada Activity Center. During their night away from home, they completed alcohol education activities and viewed video programs discouraging impaired driving. They read emotional good-bye letters written to them by their parents and also wrote good-bye letters to their parents.
The following day, all juniors and seniors attended an assembly at La Mirada High School where they heard stories from people affected by fatal, alcohol-related auto accidents. The students also viewed the film featuring some of their classmates. The film depicts a group of teens who consume alcohol at a house party and are later involved in a fatal auto accident. It shows the fate of the teenage driver who is taken into custody and the impact on the victims’ families and friends.
“These incidents are avoidable criminal offenses and are often caused by regular, responsible people who made a poor, impulsive decision while under the influence of alcohol,” says La Mirada Community Sheriff’s Station Lieutenant Kevin Beggs. “With this program, students are urged to make smart decisions beginning now and continuing throughout adulthood.”