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Admin dismantles Every 15 Minutes

RHS+adminstrators+have+decided+to+discontinue+the+Every+15+Minutes+program+this+year.+Student+Government+adviser+Brent+Mattix+said+the+program+had+%E2%80%9Coutlived+its+purpose.%E2%80%9D+%28FILE+PHOTO%2FROBBIE+SHORT%29
RHS adminstrators have decided to discontinue the Every 15 Minutes program this year. Student Government adviser Brent Mattix said the program had “outlived its purpose.” (FILE PHOTO/ROBBIE SHORT)

RHS adminstrators have decided to discontinue the Every 15 Minutes program this year. Student Government adviser Brent Mattix said the program had “outlived its purpose.” (FILE PHOTO/ROBBIE SHORT)

RHS adminstrators have decided to discontinue the Every 15 Minutes program this year. Student Government adviser Brent Mattix said the program had “outlived its purpose.” (FILE PHOTO/ROBBIE SHORT)

KAIA WHITNEY

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A student gets a close-up look of the simulated crashed car in May, 2015. (FILE PHOTO/ROBBIE SHORT)

This year’s seniors will not participate in the Every 15 Minutes program that has been a fixture on campus for more than two decades.

The main objective of this event was to alert seniors to the dangers of drinking and driving. In the last few years, however, some RHS staff and Student Government students believe that the event no longer effectively communicates the seriousness of the issue.

Administration has yet to decide an alternate program to replace “Every 15 Minutes,” but is currently on the lookout for more effective portrayals of the risks of distracted driving.

Student Government adviser Brent Mattix believes that there may be more effective ways to communicate the dangers of drinking and driving.

“We feel like the ‘Every 15 Minutes’ program has outlived its purpose and intent – to make an impact,” Mattix said.

Teachers have observed that this event is now perceived as more of a performance intended for entertainment purposes, rather than an emotional event intended to spread awareness as it’s intended to be.

Many factors were considered in this decision involving what will be most beneficial to the students, as well as what fits best into the RHS budget.

“Cost really isn’t an issue when you look at it as saving lives. But the reality is that we still need to work within a budget, and we need to make all of that work,” Mattix said.

Junior Carly Nicholson believes that rather than taking away the program all together, the school should adapt the program so that it is more impactful.

“As of now we crash the same car into the same tree,” Nicholson said. “It has just kind of lost its effect and it’s not as climatic.”

Teachers still recognize that the program’s removal will prompt mixed reactions among students.

Many expected the event as a part of their senior years.

Senior Chloe Anderson felt especially disheartened at the program’s dismissal after her friend was involved in a drunk-driving incident.

“I have experienced someone getting really hurt in a drunk driving accident and it wasn’t their fault, so to not spread awareness is really making me mad,” Anderson said.

Anderson maintains that “Every 15 Minutes” would have benefited her class.

“Everyone who went through it always came back saying how meaningful it was to them and their families, and people cry every year,” Anderson said. “They get so upset about it, so why would they take that away?”

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