Every 15 Minutes

Photo+courtesy+of+Mrs.+Weiss
Photo courtesy of Mrs. Weiss

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Weiss

Photo courtesy of Mrs. Weiss

Meghan Rydell, Staff Writer

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What is Every 15 Minutes?

On Friday, October 26, our school took part in the annual drug-free campaign called Every 15 Minutes.  The idea is based off of the statistic that one student dies every 15 minutes from drug and/or alcohol abuse. This drug-free campaign is sponsored by the Wayne Alliance and ran under the supervision of 8th grade counselor, Mrs. Molina. Students from all grades who partake in student council had the option to be a part of this event. Twenty-five students took on this task; little did they know the major impact they would have on our school community.

 

The Procedure

Every 15 minutes during the school day, students ‘disappeared’ to the guidance office where they painted their face white in order to symbolize that they had died due to drug or alcohol abuse. Once their face was painted, the student was officially pronounced dead for the day. They could no longer speak, react or participate in class.  Their classmates struggled to understand why their peers were no longer responsive.  Across the school community, the ‘losses’ felt real.

 

Effects

This was a powerful movement meant to show students the devastation that drugs and alcohol may cause, not only to an individual, but to the community as well. Many who passed in the hallway were scared by the appearances of the ‘dead’ students.  Throughout the day, many students felt the loss of their friends. When the victim’s friends needed them most, or just wanted someone to talk to, they realized the painful reality of not having that person there with them.

 

Final Thoughts

While some people may have thought that the painted faces and black clothes were silly, it was meant to really teach students not to get involved with drugs and alcohol. It’s hard to believe that every 15 minutes someone dies because drug and alcohol abuse. As a participant in this movement, I encourage you to heed the message we are sharing.  There are people and groups to support you if you are struggling. Please know you are not alone. 

 

Life is a journey.  Travel drug free.

For more information on this movement, or for resources of help, please visit http://redribbon.org/

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