Thursday, April 4, 2013

Decisions ~ School Safety A to Z

Last night I attended a mandatory pre-prom assembly with my son who is a junior in High School.  There were 2 speakers who shared their stories with us.  They were not there to give a speech or to talk down to the kids.  They were there to share their stories about decisions that were made that changed their life.

The first person to share their story was Mike Caple.  Mike is the Visual Arts Director in our school district.  He described the night when he was living in California and he received a phone call from his mother here in Massachusetts that his younger brother had been in a car accident.  With in hours Mike was on a plane coming home.  His teen age brother had made the decision to get into a car with someone who had been drinking.  Four teenagers made bad decisions that night.  One did not survive.

The second person to share their story was Matt Clarke.  When he was a senior in high school, a few months before graduation, he and his best friend Paul went to a party.  Matt woke up the next day in a hospital not remembering anything.  He found out that he and Paul had been in car accident and that Paul did not make it.  Paul was killed on impact.  Matt spoke about how this one decision to get in the car and drive while he was drunk changed his and many other lives around him.  He spent 2 years in jail.  Paul's biggest message was not to "lecture" kids, as he stated that he never listened to speeches himself.  He talked about making decisions.

This video is of Matt and his song that he wrote to help connect to others about his experience.  It was filmed at Plymouth North High School earlier in the year.  He performed it last night.  He is a very talented young man.  I admire the courage he had to get up and speak to a room full of kids and adults and share his story.  He wants to make a difference in the lives of others, and hopefully show to kids and adults that decision making is critical.

Personal responsibility and decision making is what we need to teach to our kids.  We can only do that if we ourselves are the best examples for them to follow.  Mike talked about how both deaths were 100% preventable.  I am sure you know of someone (maybe even yourself), who has gotten behind the wheel of a car after a few drinks and have driven drunk.  Do not do it.  Make the decision now to keep people safe.  30 people die each day from a result of a drunk driver.  Thats 11,000 lives lost each year that were 100% preventable.

It was an opportune time to have a wonderful conversation with my 17 year old son.  Making good decisions now will save lives in the future.  My son and I made a commitment to each other.  His biggest concern was not himself drinking, but his other friends around him.  I assured him that if he was EVER in a bad situation, his dad and I would come and get him, no questions asked.  We rather have the phone call for a ride home, that a visit from a police officer.

Make good decisions.  Take personal responsibility to save lives and keep our children safe.


  1. How awesome the school has this meeting for kids, though I think it should be at an earlier age now that they've reduced how old kids have to be to get their licenses....a very bad decision to my way of thinking. Kids just aren't mature enough at 15. Amazed Matt only spent 2 years in jail, that seems really wrong. So many accidents are preventable. The biggest way to prevent things is to have open communication with your kids, and it sounds like you do, well done!

    Thanks for the visit yesterday, would love to have your help for Bridge and Beyond


  2. ok yours is much more meaningful than mine. cool that someone i actually know is doing the challenge.

  3. Good post, but are you aware of how hard it is to read on even a normal size computer screen?

  4. As a dad to two teens, I worry every time my kids are on the road. I'm confident they wouldn't use alcohol and drive, but driving distracted, or the lack of experience, or other drivers...

    Yeah, I worry.

    Thought-provoking post, this. Thanks for sharing it.

    E: Edging Toward Home


I would love to hear your thoughts!