Presentations promote prom safety

Published 7:33 pm Tuesday, March 8, 2011

In the next several days, young women will be worrying abouttheir hair and accessorizing their dresses and young men will bedreading haircuts and razor burn. As prom keeps the minds ofjuniors and seniors at Lawrence County High School preoccupied,Lawrence County emergency management officials will be ensuringsmart decisions stay on students’ class schedules.

The Lawrence County Fire and Emergency Management ServicesAssociation will be dedicating a few days to drive home some keymessages about road safety and the dangers of drinking and drivingbefore LCHS’ prom on Saturday.

“We’re doing all we know to do short of going to prom and makingthem act right,” said association President Jared Evans.

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On F.E. Sellers Highway, the organization has recently placed amangled car in full view of passing vehicles in hopes of deterringany juniors and seniors from making any possible fatal decisions onone of the biggest party nights for high school students.

“We try to get (messages out) as close as we can to prom, maybeit’ll stick with them a little bit,” said association member DonnieWeeks.

LCHS Principal Dr. Daryl Scoggin’s safety announcements will beheard live on the radio Wednesday morning. Evans admitted that moststudents probably do not listen to talk radio, but thought thebroadcasts might be a great way to reach some of the parents.

“Maybe some of the parents will perk their ears up,” saidEvans.

Scoggin said he would be telling students not to drink and driveand to be extra cautious when traveling to and from prom.

Scoggin added that he would remind the high schoolers to not bein such a rush. With prom lasting about five hours in themultipurpose center on campus, there is no reason to hurry to theparty. He also said he would be making a shout-out to parents.

“The most important thing about prom time is that parents knowand understand where their kids are,” said Scoggin.

Mississippi Highway Patrol Staff Sgt. Rusty Boyd said he staysbusy this time of year due to proms and graduations. On Thursdaymorning, Boyd will be showing the harmful effects of making poordecisions before and during the operation of a vehicle to LCHSjuniors and seniors through the use of the video “Red Asphalt”.

“It really drives home the effects of drinking and driving, notwearing a seatbelt and things like that,” said Boyd.

Evans mentioned being a little superstitious and decided sincethere were no accidents on prom night last year, the associationwould provide the program again. Organization members also thinkthe helpful reminders to high school students are a littleselfish.

“If they’re conscious, they’ll be looking at our face through ahelmet,” Weeks said about the possibility of responding to anaccident. “It’s very, very tough to have to live with that.”

The association is in its second year and is comprised offire-based emergency management personnel. The organizationcurrently has representatives from almost all nine fire departmentsin Lawrence County and a representative from the sheriff’sdepartment attends the group’s meetings.

“Just get all the (emergency management services) under one bigroof,” said Evans. “We all fight for the same goal. We can all geton the same page.”