Youth Advisory Council Assembly and Demonstration

Julia Eilert, Writer

  Last Wednesday, March 30, the Youth Advisory Council gave McPherson High School an assembly on safe driving and the consequences of irresponsible choices involving alcohol. Students gathered in the theater at school to listen to fellow students talk about safety. During the assembly, an alarm went off and students left the building under the assumption that it was a fire alarm.

  However, once they vacated to the parking lot, a different scene was waiting. Unknown to the students, the Youth Advisory Council had set up a mock crash demonstration.

  “The entire Youth Advisory Council had some part in the crash demonstration,” said Lindsey Miller, a member of the council, “whether it was on stage or off stage we all worked together to make it happen.”

  With the help of firemen, EMTs, and policemen, a realistic crash scene was set up in the grass at the front of the east parking lot of MHS.  

  “I was very surprised by the crash demonstration,” said Travis Unruh, a junior that attended the assembly. “My initial response to seeing the crash was if this was genuinely real or not.”

“I hope at least one person was influenced,” said Maisie Edmonson, a member of YAC. “Just the thought of one of my friends being in an accident from a bad choice makes me want to do something to prevent something like this from actually happening.”

  Members in the council participated in the mock crash playing drunk drivers, survivors, and deceased passengers. Students watched as their peers were pulled out from a flipped car, loaded into an ambulance, or even given a sobriety test.

  “Even though I knew it was all fake, hearing what it felt like to be in that car while they smashed the glass was terrifying,” said Edmonson.

  Once all of the demonstration was over, students were ushered back into the theater to hear the conclusion of the assembly. Students that participated in the crash appeared on stage with bloody bandages and braces, standing beside their rescuers. From there, volunteers offered up personal stories involving drunk driving.

   “I was really touched by the personal stories from the police officers, firefighters, and EMTs own stories about crashes,” said Janae McKinney.

  Advice and warnings were given to listening students before the assembly was over and everyone was dismissed to continue classes.

  “I think it was a good message for high schoolers to let them see what actually happens in one of these situations,” said Ty Goss, a member of YAC.

  Since YAC’s revival, they’ve been moving to do what they can to keep the community informed and safe, as Brianna Bradley pointed out. “I want to say a genuine thank you to Ms. Shook for bringing back YAC Club and for being a phenomenal sponsor,” she said. “I believe this club has made such an impact in such little time.”

  YAC with be informing the school board and the McPherson Community Foundation board on their mock crash and its effects on the school. They will still be hosting their monthly prize drawing, and the council will be walking in the May Day Parade this year.

  “The demonstration was very informative and entertaining as well,” said Unruh. “I hope to see more public safety seminars like this one in the future.”