May 8, 2014 4:27 pm

Programs remind students to be safe during grad season

MONCTON – High school students across New Brunswick are gearing up to walk across the stage and accept their diplomas.

It’s a celebration that often involves drinking. Which is why some students at Harrison Trimble High School are determined to make their grad night an alcohol-free one.

“You don’t want them going out partying graduation night and then something bad happening,” said Alex Estabrooks, a student at Harrison Trimble.

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Teachers at the high school are working to educate their students on the risks of drinking and driving. The weeks leading up to grad night have proven deadly, says Chris Nagle with Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

“This is one of the worst and most hazardous times of the year because you’ve got everybody out having parties,” Nagle said.

Four years ago, three high school students were killed instantly in a car crash near Moncton. RCMP say alcohol, drugs and speed were all factors in the crash.

That’s why there are programs, like MADD, and a New Brunswick trauma program called the ‘PARTY’ Program: Preventing Injuries Related to Risk-Related Behaviour in Youth.

It’s run by trauma nurses who’ve seen students in tragic situations. They say injury is the leading cause of death and disability among Canadian teenagers and want to educate students on the risks in the hopes of encouraging healthy choices.

“I’ve actually cared for many youth who’ve been injured or eventually died after being involved in a motor vehicle crash,” said Ann Hogan, Trauma Coordinator at the NB Trauma Program. “In the 15-25 year age range in motor vehicle crashes, they represent the greatest number of deaths and disabilities for all motor vehicle crashes.”

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