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Tag Archives: Grim Reaper Day
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.
Today was Grim Reaper Day at Staples.
To raise awareness of the dangers of drunk driving, the Teen Awareness Group (TAG) plastered the halls and lockers with informational signs and graphic posters.
A coffin near the cafeteria hammered home the point that drunk driving kills.
A video — shown to the entire school — was the day’s centerpiece. The TAG- produced documentary featured members of the Staples and Westport communities, sharing personal stories of the impact drunk driving had on their lives.
The effect was powerful. And — in every aspect of the word — sobering.
Click below to watch the video. Click here if your browser does not link directly to YouTube.
Prom and party season is here. And an energetic group of Staples students wants to make sure that’s not a recipe for tragedy.
The Teen Awareness Group presented its annual Grim Reaper Day today. It’s a powerful, thought-provoking — and yes, sobering — sight. The impact is magnified because the message is sent by teenagers, to friends and classmates.
A demolished car stood outside the school. The flag stood at half mast. Three MADD representatives told their harrowing tales.
To vividly portray the daily US toll of 48 drunk-driving fatalities, a police officer and EMS responder walked into 1 classroom every 30 minutes. They told those students about a classmate’s “death” — using a real drunk-driving story.
But perhaps the most important activity was a documentary. It depicted the drinking behavior of Staples students — based on their own reports, in voluntary polls taken throughout the year.
The poll — also shown on blood-red posters plastered around school — found:
- 60 percent of seniors polled have driven drunk
- 50 percent of all students polled have been in a car with a drunk driver (including parents)
- 81 percent of all students polled drink alcohol
- 65 percent of all students polled are concerned about a friend’s drinking
“In the past, the message on Grim Reaper Day has been ‘look at what drunk driving can do in general,” said Nick Cion, a junior and TAG officer.
“This was a risk,” TAG member Jackie Dimitrief added. “But based on what we’re hearing, it worked.”
“We didn’t want people to just sit back and listen,” Nick emphasized. “We wanted this to be about how we can prevent ourselves from being statistics.”