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SADD students seek to end drunk driving

Every day, a student dies from driving drunk. At Scott High School, the club SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving) is devoted to ending drinking and driving.

The club, which has been around for three years, meets once a month to discuss the problem of drunk driving and how to end it one student at a time. Currently, there are approximately 20 students in it.

"I'm in this club because many teenagers are killed because of drunk driving each year; it's sad," said freshman Katie Elkins. 

Freshman Brianna Adkins concurred. "I'm in this group to stop students drinking while driving. It's an awful thing that needs helped."

Erica Graffius, an English teacher at Scott, is in charge of the club. She said, "It's sad to read or watch about anyone dying while drinking and driving, but it's more depressing when one hears about a teenager who has been killed.

"I think teaching adolescents now that drinking and driving is a horrible thing, then later in life it can be prevented. If I have a chance to save lives, I'm going to do it!"

As head of the group, Graffius will bring in guest speakers, such as firefighters, policemen and victims of drunk drivers. The club hasn't had any visitors yet, but she is arranging for a policeman to come talk to the students as soon as possible.

Graffius also plans to have the students make posters about why drinking and driving is a horrible thing to do. This will take place later in the year, around the time of prom. When they are made, she will hang them around the school.

She is also going to have the students in the club participate in an activity called Grim Reaper at the school. In it, two people must come to school dressed in black. They will select people that morning, then tap them on the shoulder and have them "disappear" by putting an "X" on their cheek or giving them a sign saying "dead."

During lunch, the students who were picked must eat together to show that they are among the dead; they aren't allowed speak to anyone except the other "dead" students. This puts a face on the statistics about drinking and driving. 

"I chose this activity because students need to realize how many students die every year," Graffius said. "This activity symbolizes the truth of drinking while driving. It could be their friend or cousin; no matter who it is, it's possible."

Like with the posters, she will have the students do this activity around prom in the hope that students will see what could happen if they drink and drive and then not do it.

Around February, she and her students will stage a fake accident, possibly displaying a wrecked car, a fire truck and policeman. This will create the illusion of a car crash to show what might happen if someone drives drunk.

Many students in the SADD club are looking forward to the activities that Graffius has planned.

"I am most looking forward in seeing how the people react to the Grim Reaper activity," Elkins said. "I think it will show teenagers at our school how [drunk driving] can affect everyone around us. I hope we can end drinking while driving."


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