Every 15 Minutes Program Visits Woodside

Students Learn Valuable Lessons

Beck Patrone and Travis Moss

With prom and graduation imminent, high schools are placing a greater emphasis upon awareness for those consuming alcohol during this time of celebration. The week before Spring Break, the Every 15 Minutes Program came to Woodside High School to explain the effects that drunk driving could potentially have on anyone that chooses to make that risky decision.

During first period, the grim reaper came to classes throughout Woodside, representing the lives that are taken every fifteen minutes by a drunk driving accident.

“So, I was in the library, and it was really busy, one group would quiet then another would get quiet because they noticed it [The Grim Reaper)] walking down the aisle, and they would move away,” living dead member, Hannah Alston said. “I don’t think any one was really laughing.”

Woodside students came to school without any knowledge of what was going to take place in the assembly scheduled after their third period that Wednesday morning.

“The secrecy of this program is the biggest aspect. If it goes well and if nothing gets out, we get some of that money back,” student organizer, Alex Torres, said .

Students were directed towards the football field and were met by 15 people wearing black with a mysterious, white color on their faces. These students represented the living dead who were taken by drunk driving accidents. They stood glaring at the crowd of Woodside students on the football stands in front of a tarp covering a mysterious object.  

Within minutes the tarp was raised, and revealed a horrific image, a car crash due to drunk driving that would take the lives of three Woodside Students who acted in the assembly.

“When we get to that age, when are all 21, we are always going to remember these times in high school like that event where that girl was laying on the car on that field with all that blood,” said Katrina Rohlfes, the head student organizer for the assembly.

Students were frightened as they witnessed a reenactment of what would happen if a drunk driving accident were to occur. It was an extremely gory event as two teens died in the scene, and another was taken to the hospital. The driver who was represented as intoxicated, Marissa Velez, was tested by a CHP officer on site to determine her level of drunkenness. She was soon arrested and placed in the front seat of the police car to be taken off to jail.

“The unfortunate case in this situation is that it’s usually the driver that survives in this scenario and I feel that my decisions hold a huge impact on my driving and safety,” Rohlfes said.

Those that experienced the event, viewed it as a very emotional and life-changing experience due to a hypothetical situation that could easily have been real as shown in the assembly.
“My decisions are so important. Little decisions take such a huge impact and I’ve really taken that away from this whole event,” Torres concluded.