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Valencia High hosts 'Every 15 Minutes' Nov. 5-6

Posted: October 28, 2009 5:27 p.m.
Updated: October 28, 2009 6:12 p.m.
 
On Nov. 5 and 6 the city of Santa Clarita, the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff's Station and Valencia High School will join in partnership to conduct the bi-annual "Every 15 Minutes" program.

This emotionally charged program is an event designed to dramatically instill teenagers with the consequences associated with drinking alcohol, reckless driving and poor life choices.

The program will challenge students to think about personal safety and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are at stake.

The main goal of this powerful - high impact and very emotional program, is to educate all individuals regarding the severe dangers awaiting those who make these choices, particularly those related to reckless driving, speed contests, and drinking alcohol and driving.

Deputies will join forces with school officials and selected students to "drive" the message home. Several students will be taken from classes on the 5th, as if they had been "lost" in a tragic incident.

They will be joined by other student program participants at a driving under the influence (D.U.I.) simulated collision scene, which will be set up near the school for the junior and senior classes to view, depicting fatalities and serious injuries to several students.

The injured students will be taken to a local hospital. The drunk driver will be arrested and will be taken to the Santa Clarita Superior Court where a simulated conviction for manslaughter will occur.

Following the school demonstration and court proceedings, the program participants will visit the Santa Clarita Valley Youth Grove at Central Park and the Eternal Valley Mortuary. City of Santa Clarita Mayor Frank Ferry will speak to the program participants at the Youth Grove.

They will then visit a local hotel for dinner, where community members, who have experienced real-life drunk driving related tragedies in their family, and counselors will speak to them about how it feels to lose a loved one in a drunk driving related incident. The student participants will also draft a letter to be given to their parents that begins with this phrase: "Yesterday I was killed by a drunk driver and I never got to tell you...."

An assembly will be held at Valencia High School on Nov. 6 for the entire junior and senior class where several guest speakers, who had family members killed in crashes in the Santa Clarita Valley in past years, will convey their strong and emotional messages.

All involved hope to send a poignant reminder about the dangers associated with poor life choices and bring significant change in the lives of young people who may be faced with challenging decisions that can have deadly consequences.

All family and community members are encouraged to get involved and frequently talk to their youths about the topics.

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