It happens each spring, in high schools around the country. Juniors get their driver’s licenses. Proms offer temptations. And drunk driving accidents tear apart countless lives.
Every spring for nearly 2 decades, Staples High School’s Teen Awareness Group has organized a Grim Reaper Day.
Using an array of educational tools — wrecked cars in the parking lot, posters on the walls, “Grim Reapers” or police officers pulling students out of class — TAG has done its job.
Among the most effective parts of the day are personal stories. This year’s speaker held students spellbound as he described driving the car that killed his friend. In every way imaginable, his life has never been the same.
TAG also produces videos. This year’s — shown here below — hit close to home.
Former Staples basketball player Mike Krysiuk recalled his trip to Vista, New York for beer after a game.
The driver of the Triumph hit a backhoe at 100 miles an hour. Mike spent 7 weeks in a coma, then had to learn to walk and talk all over again.
Drinking and driving is a complex social issue. Teenagers can be impulsive creatures.
But — thanks to hard-working TAG members, and an administration that supports them — Staples does whatever it can to make sure that no student joins the grim statistics that filled the halls today.