On April 10, 20 students, five adults and the assistant principal spent three hours assigning students and teachers to workshops. What an amazing task. Job well done!

Camp Kieve was the beginning of the process for what the S.A.D.D. students at Lisbon High were planning for an awareness day at school. The students spent three full days at Camp Kieve; while they were there they attended many workshops, which was the beginning of what was yet to come. The group had set a goal for what they wanted to bring back to the students at school, with the preparation from Camp this fall and weekly at 7:30 a.m. before school meetings and the many phone calls that had to be made. Every S.A.D.D. member took on a responsibility – the plan was in action and before they knew it the day would be here: That day was Friday, April 15.

As students arrived that morning they noticed a folded, mangled car in the student parking lot with signs that read; Too Tired!, Cell Phone!, C.D.’s!, OUI!, Eating!, Friends!, Music! Just small reminders of why people have accidentsand consequences of bad decisions.

Students arrived at school that day knowing they would be attending two 40 minute sessions. of which they got to pick. OUI awareness, Yoga, Pilates, Healthy Foods, Weight Lifting, Body Building, Personal Safety, Car Safety/Insurance, and Creative Memories are a few of the 20 that were available for students to choose from. While students were in their advocacy groups finding out their sessions and the times, The “Grim Reaper” made the rounds, taking students randomly from the groups. Some classmates were stunned, others wondered, and then there were those that understood very clearly that he represented death – “yes the death of that student.”

Mid-morning came and the familiar buzz of the intercom and a voice asking students to make their way to the tennis courts. It was here that the students gathered to witness a crash re-enactrnent. Two cars had hit, the sounds were real, moaning, groaning, whimpering, and an eerie cry for help. There was blood and yes someone had been ejected from the vehicle and was lying in the dirt. In the distance was the sound of sirens; soon the police, the fire department and the ambulance arrived. Police officers, inspected the scene, firemen rushed in with the extrication and the EMTS worked quickly to help those who were hurt. One girl lay on the ground DEAD, two others had to be extricated from the vehicle and put on backboards; their injuries were serious. There were two more passengers who were not seriously hurt, but had several cuts and bruises. Why did this happen? Their friend was driving under the influence. Influence of what alcohol, prescription drugs, pot or inhalants, crack cocaine… No matter what the drug was, the reality was his friend was DEAD!

For some this was a very real experience, reliving their own accident, others remembered family, friends, co-workers; everyone was reminded of a similar event that had touched their life. Some had watery eyes, others brushed the tears away before anyone could see, and then there were those that just wept. Powerful….YES! But there was more to come.

As real as the crash scene was for everyone, we all knew that it was a re-enactment. The message was strong but what was to happen in the gym as the students of Lisbon High School assembled was REAL, these stories were not made up. With words of encouragement from strangers and friends the guest speakers would take a deep breath as the curtain opened. First up Lisbon’s Chief of Police, his memories are vivid, he needs no notes, as he clears his throat to speak, with a crack, a quiver, a pause, he tells students and staff how difficult it is to tell parents that their child has passed. He tells of a parent’s denial, anger, disbelief and how they sob and at times become physical. His wounds will heal, the parents, families’ and friends’ wounds are forever.

Next to the podium was Ken McCoy. Ken made his way slowly, taking each step with care and breathing slow shallow breaths. Ken is a resident of Lisbon, and a 1996 graduate of Lisbon High. Ken has been married for 3 -1/2 years. Together he and his wife have two young, energetic, beautiful children. On June 22, 2004 life as Ken and his young family knew it was changed by tragedy things for them would be different now. Ken was an innocent person involved in an accident with an intoxicated college student. This student had her whole life ahead of her also-and now in a split second several lives were changed. Ken was critically injured and the driver seriously. Ken’s injuries were hip reconstruction, broken sternum and a severe brain injury. The injuries were so severe that he went through months of hospitalization, physical and mental therapy. Ken had to be retaught everything that he had learned over the past 27 years. The college student faced several charges and fines as well as the daily reminder from pain and suffering. ALL BECAUSE OF A POOR DECSION. How did this change Ken’s future? No job, bills to pay, little money, dependent on others for several months while facing the daily challenges of what he used to take for granted, two small energetic children who needed their daddy. Definitely, it was different for the McCoy family. The road ahead would at times be long, but with the love and support of a caring wife, family, and friends they have prevailed. Ken came to tell his story in hopes that even if one person’s life can be saved or forever unchanged, it’s worth it.

Laurie Metayer speaks on behalf of her good friend and Life Flight co-worker Kathy Case who wrote about the tragedy that happened in her family several years ago. Kathy’s brother Paul Huston was a student at Lisbon High; he was killed in a tragic accident. Paul’s life ended because of a poor decision-alcohol, a drunk driver. A young man with a whole life ahead of him gone. The story goes on to talk about even though it was several years ago; the loss of her brother is great. Christmas is especially difficult because the accident happened in December. Paul’s parents still hang his Christmas stocking. How can this affect students at Lisbon High you ask? There are teachers that still teach at the high school that had Paul as a student: Paul now has a nephew that attends the high school. There are several people that still live in this town who remember that horrible, tragic accident that killed their friend, their classmate. If you look in the yearbook, Paul’s picture is there, but it does not have the typical Senior Bio that most have. His says “Paul will always be remembered for his comical lines, his love for bike riding and snowmobiling. His love for people and life was shown by his generosity and good character. The student body and faculty will always remember him.”

The S.A.D.D. students and their advisors at Lisbon High School are a motivated, dedicated group who give 110 percent to send a strong message out to students. If there was to be a message, it would have to be that we are all faced everyday with choices. There are many healthy choices for us all – and if nothing else, remember that your classmates and friends care enough to have put this day together in hopes that a tragedy, such as this, won’t happen at Lisbon High. The tears and emotions that were felt that day were REAL, don’t forget it.

The prom and graduation season are upon us. Alcohol is the #1 cause of teenage deaths in this country. ‘LET THIS BE A TIME WHEN YOU MAKE DECSIONS FOR LIFE.’ S.A.D.D.


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