Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Student Safety: In and Out of School (HS Junior Killed by falling off a Car)

During the last week of June, a high school junior facing his upcoming senior year in the September at Woodland Regional High School in Beacon Falls, CT. He died due to head injuries he sustained when he fell off of or out of a moving car. The accident occurred on a Monday night at 10:22 pm. He was riding on top of a Honda Civic and he fell off when it drove forward. The car contained his twin brother who was also 17 and a friend who is 18 yrs old. It is uncertain if he was on the roof or the trunk, and their is a pending CT State Police (CSP) investigation. The CSP will determine the circumstances and it any charges will be filed. A great young man who liked to play golf, hang out with friends; he is no longer with us.

Points for Consideration:
  • Summer Safety Brief for All Students. Schools typically have a pre-graduation safety brief prior to prom season and graduation. This needs to continue, but why not expand that to all of the student population tailored to summer student safety as well?
    • Vehicle Safety, Water Safety, Boating, Fireworks Safety, Social Networking & Cyber -Bullying Safety, Firearms Safety, Crime Prevention & Personal Safety , just to name a few...
  • Graduating Seniors and Adulthood Responsibilities. The 18 year old driver or occupant of the car can be held liable for his actions or inactions as an adult as opposed to the 17 yr old...? Adult responsibilities are often not considered by 18 yr old students or graduates.
  • Every school is trying to develop lifelong learners as we prepare them academically and socially to enter adulthood and become the future leaders of our communities. 
  • Students who drive need to understand some of the science and physics behind driving. I think it would have a great effect for a high school physics teacher to discuss the physics behind a car crash and the effects upon a human body (seat-belted and not) or a scenario where a student was trying to hold onto a car while it was driving and it stops or accelerates. Or have a local police department conduct a crime scene investigation and how it is done. (I attended a community citizen's police academy and the accident investigation class was enlightening to say the least.) Many drivers are not aware of the tremendous force a vehicle can generate.  

Preparedness isn't just for school, and it is not "done to" the students. They have an active present and future role and responsibility is being prepared to recognize all hazards throughout their lives. School's need to instill preparedness throughout the school community whether school is in session or not. This nests with the local community's preparedness efforts and builds a network of informed and prepared citizens.

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