Friday, March 9, 2018

Shattered Dreams Wake Students at Stratford High

Stratford Oracle student news writer recounts anti-drinking and driving event

Early on the morning of Feb. 22, those whose commute typically brings them down Fern Drive found themselves searching for an alternate route, and those who paid particular attention to the road closure may have been shocked to notice the wreck in front of the Stratford High School.

The crash contained several students, and hundreds more lined Fern Drive on either side of the scene to observe the various paramedics, firemen and police officers who pulled students out of the wreckage.

The parents of those involved in the wreck stood off to the side, rushing to their children as soon as they had been liberated, if they were liberated.

This pseudo-wreck was orchestrated by Shattered Dreams, a company that travels to high schools in the Houston area and enlists students to take part in a fake car crash to illustrate the devastating effects of driving while intoxicated to teenagers, especially for driving-age juniors and seniors.

“Shattered Dreams is an incredibly powerful program that can make meaningful change in the lives of students,” Stratford High Principal Chad Crowson said. “Impaired and distracted driving is a serious problem in our community, and I hope that this program will help students to see the light and change their behaviors.”

The Stratford students selected to take part in this emotionally charged demonstration spent the day as corpses, wandering their high school with their ghoulish makeup and decorated cardboard tombstones.

“It was so crazy, seeing my peers all bloody and seeing their parents crying over them. It’s an image I will never forget,” junior Audrey Katherine Ford said.

The next morning, Stratford’s junior and senior classes met in assembly where students and parents who participated shared their experiences from the simulation and from the events that followed during the day.

These students spent the evening in the hospital emergency room, and they also heard testimonials from people whose lives had been forever changed by drunk driving.

“It can happen in the blink of an eye,” said Ann Goss, a junior who was carted off to the emergency room via ambulance from the wreckage. “It’s crazy to think that stuff like this happens every day but it does, it really does.”

This account was written by Charlotte Benes with The Oracle student newspaper staff at Stratford High.


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