RUMFORD — Mountain Valley High School will repeat the “Every 15 Minutes” program next month to remind teens of the dangers of driving while impaired and texting while driving.

It was presented in 2012, and Principal Matt Gilbert said it’s time to show it again. The two-day event is planned for early May, but Gilbert said he did not want to reveal the dates.

“The 2012 event had a good impact on students and parents, showing the (possible results) of underage drinking or drugging and driving,” he said.

He added, “This may not be part of the curriculum, but it’s necessary to being a healthy adult and is part of keeping students safe. We want to do everything we can so students will make good decisions.”

The national Every 15 Minutes organization presents its program to teens and parents worldwide, according to its website: www.every15minutes.com. Its name was derived from the fact that in the 1990s, someone in the United States died in an alcohol-related traffic accident every 15 minutes.

At Mountain Valley, the program will include a simulated car crash, mock victims and the “Grim Reaper,” who will enter a classroom every 15 minutes, tap a student on the shoulder and remove him or her to represent the drunken-driving death statistic.

Community members, local police, hospital personnel, funeral homes, rescue services and wrecker companies will participate.

The second day ends with an assembly at which coffins are displayed and participants playing the roles of injured teens and distraught parents and friends show the effects of poor decisions.

The event is being presented as part of the Keeping Students Safe program at the high school in conjunction with the Rumford Police Department.

In 2012, the school raised several thousand dollars to present the program. This year, many donations have been made. Those who wish to contribute may do so at the school or send checks to Mountain Valley High School, Rumford, ME 04276.


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