SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- The Grim Reaper visited the students of Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School as part of the Faces of Reality presentation on Wednesday, Jan. 30.
During the day, students that agreed to participate left their classes escorted by the Grim Reaper. They then received a sign and a dark purple t-shirt. This was to represent their “death.” This number signifies the number of people that will die in an alcohol related automobile crash.
According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD), one person dies every 51 minutes due to an alcohol related automobile accident in our country daily. Additionally, there were 48 students that agreed to participate by wearing bandages around their heads or on their non-dominant arm. This represented the number of people who are injured daily due to an alcohol related automobile accident. One person is injured every two minutes according to MADD. There were approximately 80 students that participated in the program during the day.
The presentation started with the Grim Reaper removing students from classes. The students then returned to class wearing either light purple or dark purple shirts representing either death or injury due to a drugged, drunk or distracted driver.
At the end of the day, juniors and seniors attended an assembly that highlighted the consequences of making a poor decision while driving. Speakers included: Officer Elliott Bernard from the Fanwood Police Department, Detective Chris Aversa, School Resource Officer (SRO), Bill Mariani from Rossi’s Funeral Home, and Health and Physical Education teacher Ashleigh Boyce.
Officer Bernard and Detective Aversa spoke about the immediate aftermath of a motor vehicle crash. Mr. Mariani spoke about what it is like to plan the funeral of a young adult. Ms. Boyce spoke about her experience during her senior year of college when her boyfriend was struck and killed by a drunk driver.
The program was sponsored by the Municipal Alliance, the Scotch Plains-Fanwood PTA, SPFHS, DECA and the District Student Assistance Coordinator, Ms. Knodel-Gordon.