Valdosta Daily Times

What We Think

April 14, 2014

The real lessons of a mock drill

-- — Valdosta High School’s Students Against Destructive Decisions held a powerful mock demonstration Monday morning on the school’s campus.

Wearing realistic horror makeup, students scattered themselves inside and outside of wrecked vehicles. They assumed the tragic poses of young people seriously injured or dead.

Adding to the drama, real law-enforcement, firefighters and other emergency personnel arrived at the scene. Sirens blaring. Emergency lights flashing. Emergency workers treated these students pretending to be injured as they have sadly had to treat so many young people who have suffered and perished in similar but real scenarios.

This mock creation of a wreck was powerful. The Times had a photographer on the scene, but his photos looked more like real tragedy than a recreated lesson to students. Given the stark reality of the photographs, The Times chose not to run them in today’s editions. Too many readers not expecting a photo spread on a mock wreck may have initially assumed they were viewing the real thing. Too many people have lost too many loved ones to wrecks locally to happen upon such photos without some warning.

However, the 700 Valdosta High School juniors and seniors who witnessed the SADD mock wreck needed to see this display.

Young people need lessons in what may happen when drinking and driving, what may happen by not wearing a seat belt, what may happen by making “destructive decisions.”

We hope the mock drill will serve as a reminder that there are real consequences to decisions. Lives are tragically changed and lost.

Perhaps, through this mock drill, lives will be positively changed and saved.

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