Taking another step towards prom safety

The Southerner

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By Taylor Allen

If you walked into the theater on Friday, April 27, you would have seen seats filled with excited juniors and seniors clasping yellow papers exclaiming, “I pledge to make my car a ‘No Phone Zone’ vehicle. Beginning right now, I will do my part to help put an end to distracted driving by pledging to be a safe driver.”

The beginning of this pledge was in support of a Prom Safety 101 seminar sponsored by APS’s K-12 College and Career Readiness. The interactive forum included presentations by the Atlanta Police Department, UPS, 11 Alive and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. Following the 90-minute presentation, students split up into groups of 25 and rotated between the activities held by the organizations every 30 minutes.

With everyone excited for prom the next day, this seminar was meant to keep students safe on prom night. Throughout the three-hour presentation, I found myself moved by the passionate adults who

Juniors and seniors were taught by UPS about consequential driving and viewing habits that included lessons on texting while driving, distracted driving, drinking and driving, wearing seat belts and road rage.

While UPS took time to inform students of driving techniques and not texting while driving, the DUI unit officer stressed the importance of not driving under the influence. He urged us not to drink and drive and provided us with insight into the police force and the traffic laws concerning DUI’s.

After being informed about the technical side of prom safety, I walked into the theater classroom to attend the MADD session. There was an air of sensitivity and emotional seriousness in the room. MADD’s mission is to eliminate drunk driving, support the victims of this violent crime and prevent underage drinking. These motives turned into reality as stories and pictures of victims of drunk driving were shown in a 20-minute video. After the clip, silence filled the room as students realized the brutal effects of drunk driving.

In the beginning, some students were probably motivated to attend the Prom Safety 101 seminar in order to miss three hours of class. By the end, however, it seemed as though the students, including myself, found the presentation insightful and very appropriate.

This was the first year that Grady hosted such an event, and I truly hope that in the following years, they continue to inform students of the stupidity and danger of drinking and/or texting while driving.

While I never intended to be under the influence on prom night or any other night where it would be considered illegal, I am glad to say that I had a night to remember on April 28, a night to never forget.

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