Sherman High School students were given a dose of reality and the consequences of drunken driving Friday as the school simulated a wreck on campus. First responders district personnel and other community partners came together to present Shattered Dreams which portrayed a fatality wreck with drunken driving and students.
Organizers for the event said they hoped that the presentation would be an eye opener for students about the consequences of drinking and driving and impacts for all involved.
“Today we are presenting our ‘Shattered Dreams program that helps to bring to life the consequences of drinking and driving,” SHS school nurse Rita Berkley said. “So, we worked in coordination with Sherman Fire Department, Sherman Police Department, air evac transport services, TMC Trauma and Waldo Funeral Home.
“We wanted to create a scene that was as real as possible to hopefully impart the reality of drinking and driving and what could happen.”
In the scenario, a group of students were out late at night partying at Lake Texoma and drinking. As morning approached, the group made their way to school while still intoxicated. The vehicle in which they were travelling went into oncoming traffic and struck another car with students in it head on, leading to injuries and legal consequences for others.
In the aftermath of the crash, two students were arrested, another was transported by ground to the hospital with injuries, and another was airlifted out with life-threatening injuries. Videos played throughout the day revealed more details about the situation; the student who was evacuated by helicopter died at the hospital from their wounds. Another scene showed the arraignment of the two other students. Meanwhile, a memorial service was conducted on campus for the deceased.
First responders treated it as a live situation with real radio chatter and actual tools, including extraction devices.
“They treated this as a real scene because it helps them get experience too,” Berkley said. “So, it wasn’t just teaching the students or showing them the consequences of drinking and driving.”
Shattered Dreams was originally created by a high school in Waco and was modified to fir Sherman. The idea to host the event came from the SHS Student Council. Sophomore Student Council Vice President Thalia Estes said the idea came out of talks on how to recognize red ribbon week and was recommended by a student who recently moved to Sherman.
“Red ribbon week is when we bring awareness to some of the harms the come from doing drugs and drinking alcohol,” she said. “It is really to bring attention to the fact that they can be very dangerous.”
From there, members of the council approached school staff about putting on the event.
“When the student council came to me and asked if I knew what Shattered Dreams was I absolutely and excitedly said yes,” Berkley said.
SHS Principal Jenifer Politi said she hopes the event creates a lasting impact on the students and reminds them of what is at stake when they drink and get behind the wheel.
“I hope the kids take away the fact that life is precious and it’s short and they know that they are not invincible,” she said. “I think at that age everyone thought that they were. I hope that they take their friendships and life seriously because it’s so short and precious.”
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