Keeping the Prom Promise

Keeping the Prom Promise

AWM seniors reminded of the dangers of drunk driving

West Memphis School District

They go through it every year, and for a good reason. In order to scare the dickens out of the seniors at the Academies of West Memphis, the local fire and police departments along with the EMS, reenact a tragic auto accident scene caused by drunk driving.

The annual Prom Promise, which was held Tuesday behind Lehr Arena, is an expensive venture designed to keep alcohol (and other drugs) out of the party atmosphere at Friday night's Prom at the school's cafeteria.

The entire senior class was on hand to witness the dramatical aftermath of a twocar accident which kills one (Emma Gadberry) and injures several others.

It also serves as training exercise for the local authorities, one that costs an astonishing $60,000. 'Every year young people's lives are lost somewhere in the country due to poor decision-making while driving,' said the event's coordinator Dr.

Cheryl Ring. 'This scenario will hopefully save lives and keep the young people of West Memphis safe as well as the lives of other drivers and passengers.'

Students participating in the event included Gadberry, Jayla Harris, Kayla Stewart, Jenna Grissom, Shiv Patel, William Bain, Elijah Johnson and Katie Andrews.

Gadberry's parents, Emmett and Cynthia, along with Grissom's mother, Shelia, participated in the dramatic performance, with their own children playing the parts of the victims.

'We know it was only a play, but when you're own child is playing dead it still affects you as a parent,' said Emmett Gadberry.

Jemal Green of the West Memphis Fire Department served as the event's master of ceremonies and Jenna Grissom was chosen as the top essayist. Her work will be published in the Emergency Services monthly newsletter.

By Billy Woods