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Posted: April 18, 2013 9:43 p.m.

AHS learns dangers of DUI driving

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More than 700 juniors and seniors at Alcovy High School filed into the school’s auditorium on Wednesday afternoon to learn about making good decisions on prom night for their future at a program called “Ghost Out,” put on by their peers and administrators at the school.

AHS juniors and seniors will attend prom on Saturday evening, April 20 at the Georgia State Botanical Gardens in Athens. With the memorable event approaching, assistant principal Troy Davis helped organize for all juniors and seniors to attend the program. AHS teachers Marie Heard, Anchor Club advisor, and Deirdre Kraushaar and Key Club advisor, had their students put on the program.

Students watched as grim reapers, dressed in all black, walk slowly up and down the aisles of the auditorium as they took a seat in the dimly lit auditorium.

The message of making safe decisions on prom night and while driving resonated through the room, as students from the Anchor Club and the Key Club, recited spoken word, presented a PowerPoint slide show, and put on a film, portraying what could and has happened to teens who decided to drink and drive, which resulted in death and the harm of others and their families.

In one segment of the program, a group of students posed lifeless with pale faces in a line, as three grim reapers pulled one of the students, Kaitlin Aikens, from the line. A spotlight shined on Aikens as her make-believe obituary was read to students stating that she had died from drunk driving, but that she was an excelling AHS senior who was looking forward to graduating, attending college, and one day becoming a marketing and public relations representative for Chick-fil-A corporate.

Also during the program, it was stated that every 15 minutes a teenager dies for reckless driving, whether it is for being under the influence, texting or not paying attention to the road. It was also stated that the state of Georgia spent more on alcohol-related crashes than on education in 2012.

After students listened to heart-wrenching statistics and watched a short-film about a teen who chose to drive under the influence on prom night, and ended up killing her boyfriend, two of her friends and a child in another vehicle, AHS students were given a set of rules to abide by at prom by Davis.

Heard said the Anchor Club is a service organization that works to bring awareness to different types of issues, one being teen drunk driving. She said students from her club, and the Key Club, an organization whose goal is to teach leadership through helping, all worked together to organize the program, which was in its first year.

“I don’t think the students realize the gravity of the situation,” Heard said. “Their choices affect everybody.”

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