Prom Promise


Samantha Gurd, Staff Writer

As Prom quickly approaches for the juniors and seniors of Poland High School, and other schools around the country, the topic of drunk driving becomes an even more relevant discussion. For juniors, prom represents the first step into almost graduating; it’s something they look forward to finally being able to participate in. And for seniors, it’s the last hurrah to the past four years they have spent with one another.

Growing up, Prom has always been idolized as the “best night of your high school experience” or “the last night memorable night of high school with your friends,” but one thing we seem to overlook as upcoming young adults, is that is not exactly how it works.

Sure, Prom will hopefully be a blast for all of us, but it isn’t going to necessarily be the best night of our lives, and it surely won’t be the last time we will be with our friends. Movies and television have painted a picture of how prom “should be,” verus the reality of it all. In movies and television, everyone goes with their significant other or close friend, and the night almost always ends up with them attending a party and getting wasted. But the thing about the movies is that it’s not real life. In real life, we are real people, facing the real dangers of drinking and driving, and just underage drinking itself.

According to Los Angeles DUI Experts Affordable & Aggressive DUI Office, teen car-crashes are responsible for a death every hour, and 45% of those crashes and deaths, alcohol was involved. It is bad enough that these crashes occur all the time, but Prom night seems to be a night when the idea of drinking becomes most prominent.

For those who understand the dangers of drinking and driving and do not participate, or even those who decide to be designated drivers for their friends, you are still at risk. Both parties do not have to be drinking in order for a crash to occur. An accident could happen when only one of the drivers is intoxicated. As long as someone is under the influence and on the road, they are creating a risk for even those choosing to be safe.

So to help combat this and create awareness, PSHS hosted “Prom Promise.” Juniors and seniors were excused from classes at the end of the day on Friday, April 27, to have an assembly about drunk driving.

Michael Gershe, a professional speaker, as well as comedian, came to speak to the students about the dangers of drunk driving. Mr. Gershe shared his personal experiences with the dangers of drinking and driving, while making the presentation entertaining for the students.

After Mr. Gershe had completed his presentation, the students were taken out to the parking lot to witness a live representation of what happens once an accident occurs from drunk driving. Luke Lankitus, junior, played the drunk driver responsible for the death of his friends, and his friends were played by juniors Jake Snyder and Olivia Barret. The skit included the fire department coming in to cut the students out of the car, as well as Officer Kent “arresting” Mr. Lankitus, and a helicopter to “take the hurt students to the hospital.”

The awareness brought forth by the administration and community of Poland will hopefully help others to make the right choices not only on Prom night, but other nights as well. So juniors and seniors, have fun, make lots and lots of memories, but remember, in order to keep those memories, we have to keep ourselves alive. Be safe!