Archived Stories for Union County Public Schools
VIP for a VIP
Weddington High School proudly hosted VIP for a VIP: Vehicle Injury Prevention for a Very Important Person. This two-part assembly focused on young drivers and the choices they make while driving: driving while impaired, using a cell phone and text messaging, allowing distractions (loud music, partying passengers), speeding, racing, seat belt use, etc.
The morning session in our school auditorium featured testimony and statistics directly related to teenage motor vehicle fatalities. We heard messages from Wesley Chapel Firefighters, Union County Emergency Medical Services, State Highway Patrol, NC Wildlife, and our very own Union County Sheriff’s Office School Resource Officer Louie Rodriguez and student Trey Cooke. These men shared their very own, very personal experiences with our very alert and visibly moved juniors and seniors.
Also during the morning session, attendees viewed video clips and real photos of fatal accidents that helped reveal a real vulnerability to the consequences of poor decision-making related to operating a vehicle. “You call it a car or even a hot-rod” shared VIP Director Kelly Grooms, “but we call it a 3,000 pound bomb.” With music like The Band Perry’s If I Die Young accompanying many of the photos and statistic displays, the only audience sound was the occasional sniffle. When a student’s post-mortem poem and message to mom broadcast through our auditorium speakers as the Sun Valley High Junior ROTC members draped a cover over a casket at front, somber emotion reverberated throughout the room.
That afternoon, we invited the same group out to our bus lot. With students seated on bleachers facing our school, VIP members unveiled a mangled sports car, CDs all over the ground, and a telephone pole through the windshield as a lifeless teen actor remained in the driver’s seat. A jogger arrived and her 911 call followed by emergency dispatch billowed through the air. Sirens blared as emergency responders rolled onto the scene. Parents arrived. Mom pleaded with paramedics to save her son. The teen’s voice, his soul—heard only through the speakers—asked “Why is mom crying?” Despite their best efforts, emergency personnel body-bagged the victim, and it ended, leaving students with only a crash scene and a makeshift memorial. “Be smart, and be safe.”
Weddington High dedicated this program to the students who have lost their lives in motor vehicle accidents while attending this school. We consider our students VIPs.
Written by: Marcus Leake, Assistant Principal
Posted: May 13, 2012 by Cheryl Edwards