Planning Begins for Every 15 Minutes
Applications for the 2012 Every Fifteen Minutes program are now being accepted and available online. Applicants must be a junior or senior, with seniors having priority in the decision process. After completing and submitting application online, students attend one of two orientations with a parent and a parent must turn in the student’s obituary.
Every 15 Minutes is a program designed to teach students the dangers of drinking and driving. The program receives help from multiple organizations including the Mansfield Police and Fire Departments, Mansfield Independent School District, Texas Alcohol Beverage Commission, Methodist Mansfield Hospital, Blessing Funeral Home and Careflite. The event features a mock crash scene, retreat and an assembly attended by all juniors and seniors.
“Every year there are different things that impact the participants,” campus event coordinator Stephanie Shackelford said. “You never know what will affect somebody or how it will hit them.”
The crash scene will only be available to a maximum of 35 seniors from each school. These students are selected randomly and will also attend the overnight retreat.
“I’m sad we can’t allow all the students to see the crash scene,” Mrs. Shackelford said. “but better some see it than get rid of it all together.”
In previous years, Every 15 Minutes was held the week before prom, to reinforce to students the dangers of drinking and driving before and after prom. This year, the committee has decided to hold the event the weekend before Spring Break with hopes for students to understand the dangers of drinking and driving all the time, rather than concentrating on prom.
“Having the event right before prom directed the focus heavily on not drinking and driving before or after prom,” Mrs. Shackelford said. “We hope that moving the date makes the message more universal.”
Overall, 100 students participate as part of the “Living Dead.” The students’ parents write an obituary as if the student were actually dead. Every 15 minutes, a grim reaper, counselor and police officer will pull one student from each class and read their obituary aloud for all the class to hear. The students return to class with their face painted white and a Living Dead t-shirt on, not to speak or communicate with students or teachers for the remainder of the school day in order to give the effect of sudden loss to those around them.
“Most kids know you aren’t supposed to drink and drive,” Mrs. Shackelford said. “A lot of students don’t realize in a drunk driving accident, it’s not only the drinker who gets injured.”