High school students preparing for graduation, prom season
Unfortunately, underage drinking continues to be a significant factor during this time, said OSAID teacher representative Ashleigh McBain.
“Underage drinking, unfortunately, is something that is never going to change,” McBain said. “It's the reality of being a teenager.”
Confederation Secondary School Grade 11 student Mira El-Darazi is the regional representative for OSAID. She also played the part of a drunk driver who killed two people in a mock crash scenario on April 22 at the Steelworkers Hall.
After only four hours of sleep and a long night of drinking, her character made the decision to get behind the wheel and drive. She hit another car containing a family of four. Her actions killed the parents and injured the teenage daughter and baby on board.
She was arrested as a result.
The point of the scenario was to remind students as they head into the graduation and prom season that they need to plan ahead, make smart decisions, and if they plan to drink, then don't drive — even if they think they've slept if off after a few hours, McBain said.
“Our focus is to teach them strategies where, if they are making those decisions, they can deal with them in an appropriate method,” McBain said. “We want them to realize that you don't just sleep off being drunk; alcohol stays in your system for quite a while, and we're really focusing on the next morning and that chances are they will still be drunk after a long night of partying.
“Ideally, we would love for our students to not drink underage, but we need to address the reality they are going to drink, and we want to celebrate graduation on a happy note.”
About 500 students from all school boards across the City of Greater Sudbury watched the mock crash scene unfold.
“The fact is, until you actually experience something like this, it doesn't hit home,” she said. “This is the closest we can get to putting our students in a situation where they don't lose anyone, but at the same time learn a valuable lesson.”
Mock crash participants were all students, so those who were watching were seeing their peers, and hopefully they understand this could be them if they don't make smart decisions, McBain said.