Grim Reaper Day’s Graphic Reminder

Distracted driving—specifically, texting while driving—is the nation’s number one killer of teens.
Distracted driving—specifically, texting while driving—is the nation’s number one killer of teens.
Wanting students to pause and think is exactly what sophomore Emma Kongevold had in mind with her graphic display.
Wanting students to pause and think is exactly what sophomore Emma Kongevold had in mind with her graphic display.
“Don’t be next. Don’t text or drink and drive” met students on their way to homeward-bound buses.
“Don’t be next. Don’t text or drink and drive” met students on their way to homeward-bound buses.
It’s critically important for parents and their teens to renew their pledge about the dire dangers of texting or drinking and driving.
It’s critically important for parents and their teens to renew their pledge about the dire dangers of texting or drinking and driving.

In the hustle and bustle of Walt Whitman’s busy hallways, as students were headed to their next class, they happened upon a scene that made them pause and think, and that’s exactly what sophomore Emma Kongevold wanted to happen.

As a grim reminder of the devastation brought upon victims and their families and friends, a grim reaper visited a different classroom during each of the 8 periods at Whitman and pulled a “victim” from the class. Each victim bore a sign of a specific destructive and distracted decision and was added to the final exhibit in the front of the PAC at the end of the day. The grim reaper and her victims, reminding the students in a graphic way, “Don’t be next. Don’t text or drink and drive” met students on their way to homeward-bound buses.

Drinking and driving has received a lot of publicity over the last decade, but that is now eclipsed by distracted driving—specifically, texting while driving—as the nation’s number one killer of teens.

We are well within the “100 deadliest days,” unofficially marked as the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and a time during which destructive decisions seem to rise to the forefront.  As we embark on the final 2 weeks of school, and as the senior prom and graduation parties are getting their final touches, it’s critically important for parents and their teens to renew their pledge about the dangers of distracted and drinking and driving.

Thank you to Emma Kongevold, Ashley Seebach, Joseph Esposito, Angelo Gervasio, Rebecca Shaiman, Melanie Olinsky, Olivia Poplawski, Brandi Givargidze, and Lauren Civello for helping to remind all of us of the dire dangers of texting or drinking and driving.