A day for teen issues
Berkeley Springs High School students had a very different series of "classes" on September 26. It was Teen Issue Day, a day where students could take a break from work and focus in on issues that teens face everyday. Throughout the day, students had sessions that dealt with a specific issue, such as "Rachel's Challenge."
Rachel's Challenge is a program in honor of Rachel Scott, who was killed in the Columbine shooting of 1999, to help start a "chain reaction" of kindness and compassion. Her acts of kindness that were found in her diaries became a foundation for a life-changing school program.
Students at Berkeley Springs High School were shown a video of the Columbine shooting and how Scott's words were heard and made into "Rachel's Challenge."
Another session was "Fatal Vision." It gave students the opportunity to realize the dangers of driving under the influence of drugs and or alcohol by driving a golf cart through a series of cones using "drunk" goggles.
The goggles made the students' vision unclear and blurry as if they were under the influence. The goal was to miss all cones without swerving, speeding or crashing.
"I hit six cones!" said Katie Godman, a junior.
"When you are going fast and everything is blurry, you don't know what is going to jump out at you next. It could be really scary if you are driving a car. It was scary enough driving a golf cart!"
Special guest Margaret Walker came to talk about M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving). She made it clear how unsafe it was to drive drunk and used her son as an example. He was killed by a drunk driver who hit several other cars.
In the 1980s, M.A.D.D. had the success in helping change public attitudes regarding driving under the influence.
There were many other sessions such as: "Journey to a Hate Free Millennium," financial intelligence, techniques for coping with stress and more.
At the end of the day, all students had the opportunity to get ice cream and listen to a rock band created by former students. It gave them the time to discuss what they had learned that day with their friends and it also gave teachers the chance to see them as teenagers, not just students.
"I think it is an outstanding idea," said teacher Robert Lindsey.
"I'd like to see it occur more often and it would be nice if all students could be present those days."