I would like to thank those who staged the Every 15 Minutes event at Lodi High School. Based on the conversation I had with my son after school, I could tell that it had the intended affect.
No matter how much we as parents would like to think otherwise, kids feel bulletproof when they are 17 and 18 years old, and their actions often bare witness to that fact. We talk to them about making good decisions and how not doing so can drastically effect their lives and those around them. But those words often fall on deaf, bulletproof ears.
On the final day of the Every 15 Minutes program, my son's reaction was not what he expected the night before when he talked about how it was just time out of class. Hearing about his friends' "deaths" in letters from their parents and siblings — and transferring those emotions to his parents, siblings and young cousins — made him really FEEL the effects of a poor decision made in a seemingly unimportant moment. Hopefully that feeling will stay with him as he goes through his young life, and allow him and those around him to make good, life-saving decisions in moments that will undoubtedly occur.
After hearing his recounting of the events, I hope these kids will spread the word that parents would much rather get a call for a ride home from a party than get a call from the police to bail them out, or even worse, claim their remains.