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May 12, 2013

Lewis Cass SADD hosts school-wide event

Law enforcement, Indiana SADD displayed dangers of drunk driving.

WALTON — Four students ran and entered a black four-door truck and buckled up in one of the four seats as a whistle blew. Team members raised both hands in the air when each of their belts was buckled. When eight hands were in the air another whistle blew and they moved clockwise until each member had successfully buckled their belts in all seat locations.

The contest to be the fastest team was to show how little time it takes to buckle up.

The Quick-Click was one of four activities provided by the Indiana Students Against Destructive Decisions organization Thursday afternoon at Lewis Cass Junior-Senior High School.

Chance Urbina and Megan Hildebrandt, SADD members, wanted to have an activity to show the dangers of drunk driving before their school’s prom. After talking to Don Young, associate principal, Karen Schlegelmilch, SADD advisor, Kelsey Sullivan, SADD president and Geoff Grow, program director of Indiana SADD, the idea was approved. Grades seven through 11 went through the activities throughout the day Thursday. Seniors had the activity prior to their prom with Indiana State Troopers.

The Cass County Sheriff’s Department and Galveston Police Department teamed up with Lewis Cass’s SADD club to provide field sobriety tests and help out with other activities.

“The students are having a good time and it really puts everything in to perspective for them,” said Jill Rife, Chief Deputy at the Cass County Sheriff’s Department.

Rife said she was contacted by Schlegelmilch, and after being told what was going on decided to be a part of it.

In addition to the quick-click challenge, students could participate in a fatal vision obstacle course, seat belt convincer and field sobriety tests.

Students were able to drive a golf cart through an obstacle course wearing fatal vision goggles simulating different levels of blood alcohol concentration. Students drove half of the course through orange cones without the goggles and the other half with goggles.

Most students found they hit several cones when they drove back through the course.

“Students can see what it’s like to be under the influence and how it affects their vision,” Grow said.

Grow said Indiana SADD offers traveling programs free of charge.

“We do this because the leading cause of death in ages 15 to 20 years old is a car crash,” Grow said. “On top of drinking and driving we have to tackle texting and driving, which makes a person 23 times more likely to crash.”

Students enjoyed the day but understood why they were participating in the activities.

“I think students understand drinking, texting and driving is not a joke,” Hildebrandt said. “They put their life and other people’s lives in danger when they do.”

Kelttin Boyd, a senior SADD member, said he thought the day went well.

“You hear a lot about teen drinking and I think it’s important to have activities like this that might make someone rethink texting or drinking before they get behind a wheel,” Boyd said.

Amie Sites is community news editor for the Pharos-Tribune. She can be reached at amie.sites@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5150.

 

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