LHS Harmon’s Reality Check
May 4, police and fire rescue rushed to Lewisville High School Harmon campus (Harmon). It was all part of a “Deadly Decisions” program that included an elaborate car crash reenactment designed to help ninth-grade students understand the consequences of making poor life choices.
“This is the age our kids will face dangerous peer pressure and begin driving. Some of Deadly Decisions is so realistic it causes students to become upset and uncomfortable, but our goal is to leave an impression that will stay with them for several years,” Harmon Principal Andy Plunkett said. “We love them and we never want to see them make any choice that could harm themselves or others. Although it’s a tough lesson, providing this presentation to our kids helps them make good decisions and tremendously reduces the likelihood of them ever being in a serious accident.”
Harmon’s Campus Crew student organization, Student Council and School Resource Officer (SRO) Marni Hull organized the day’s events. Plunkett started the program with an honest talk to students about the major life choices they will face in high school and beyond. His comments were followed by words of encouragement and support from Lewisville Mayor Dean Ueckert. Then, featured guest speaker Jamie Nash took the stage for a powerful presentation on the dangers of texting and driving.
“I hope Deadly Decisions has enough of an impact on students that it gets beyond desensitization about these kinds of things to the point where they may remember it in the moment right before they make a bad decision,” Hull said. “I want something that will make an impact.”
Nash’s true story definitely made an impact. She was involved in a car accident caused by texting while driving. In that accident, she was severely burned over 70 percent of her body. Because of her bad decision, she spent 10 weeks in a coma, has undergone over 29 surgeries and is still recovering almost two years later. She talked about how the accident has affected every aspect of her life. At the end of her speech, she received a standing ovation from students. Nash has established a nonprofit foundation, TXT L8R, to help spread her message.
“When listening to the guest speaker, I realized how something we normally do every day can have such a negative impact on myself and people around me,” student Neghin Goudarzi said.
The program then moved to a video, produced by and staring Campus Crew, which deliberately addressed pill parties, a new fad where kids take medications without knowing what they are ingesting.
“With this sort of program, we’re trying to convey a message about the decisions kids are going to have to make,” Hull said. “We want to give them some forethought about alcohol and drugs as well as other driver distractions such as texting.”
The video established cause for the accident reenactment that the entire student body would see moments later in the parking lot of their school.
When they went outside they saw their peers, Campus Crew members, in a shockingly bloody and tragic scene. The accident portrayal went through the actual events that would take place if the accident had truly occurred.
First the Lewisville Police Department (LPD) arrived, followed by a full arsenal of the Lewisville Fire Department (LFD). One critically injured victim was transported via CareFlite and, when another was pronounced dead at the scene, Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home arrived to take the body.
“I really liked Deadly Decisions because it made me understand the full impact of what would happen if I was intoxicated while driving,” student Elizabeth Zhao said. “Seeing my best friend go through the mock car accident was really sad; I would not want that to happened anyone. I know I will never text and drive!”
When the reenactment was over, Plunkett had the student actors reappear to assure their peers that the blood and wounds were all just makeup and the accident was artificial, but remind them that the scene was meant to make them think. LFD Chief Timothy Tittle closed the program with words that encouraged students to make good choices in their futures so that the unreal accident would not become reality.
“The privilege of being one of the actresses scared me when I realized how deadly and dangerous being distracted while driving can be,” Manijeh Rustomji said.
Deadly Decisions requires the coordination and collaboration of the City of Lewisville, LPD, LFD, Mulkey-Mason Funeral Home, Pro-Tow Wrecker Service and CareFlite; all these entities donated their time, resources and services to make the reenactment possible. Ford Country also made generous donations to help cover expenses.
“The program gave us a chance to experience the real-life consequences of making bad choices. It is like when a child touches a stove and realizes the consequence,” student Gus De Sa said. “The reenactment served as a lesson of what not to do.”
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