Students “Die” During Every 15 Minutes

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The Grim Reaper takes a vicim to be "killed" as part of SADD's Every 15 minutes. --Photo by Lizzie Orman

Every 15 minutes, a student dies from drunk driving, and on March 30 during the school day, members of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) must pretend to die from an alcohol-related car crash.

Every 15 minutes, police sirens blare throughout the school to signal another “death” and that the grim wreaper has taken another student’s life. The frequency of these sirens throughout the day allow students to realize how often students die from destructive decisions. SADD hosts this event in the hopes that that students will change their perspective on drinking and driving.

These students are prohibited from speaking to anyone the whole day, and must paint their faces white to represent death. In essence, they must act as if they are not alive. Hannah Kotarski is one of many students who is representing the students who died today.

Every 15 Minutes is meant to create an impact with students that may have considered making destructive decisions in the future. It may impact some students dramatically, and it may not affect some students at all. “If it can impact a few, for me it is worth it,” said assistant Principal Dyan Gomez.

Students who have experienced the death or injury of family or friends from drunk driving are more likely to be affected; some do not even show up for school because it is too overwhelming. Accroding to a Pre to Post test study by the national organization Every 15 Minutes, students who participate in Every 15 Minutes are less likely to drink while driving, and decreased the number of daily and weekly drinking episodes.