WASHINGTON TWP. │ Porter County Coroner Chuck Harris hopes students at Washington Township High School will make safe choices during their weekend prom activities following his presentation Friday on the fatal consequences of drug and alcohol abuse.
Harris’ presentation included photos, some graphic in detail, of recent cases of young people in Porter County who died as a result of drug and alcohol abuse or drunk driving.
“It’s not fun like ‘Jersey Shore,’” Harris said. “That’s not how the real world works.”
Harris pointed out to students that there have already been as many drug overdose deaths in Porter County through March of this year as there were in the county all of 2012.
Harris told students it’s important to have a “get out of jail free” card with their parents in case they find themselves in a troubling situation that could lead to bad choices. This way they can call their parents to come pick them up without the fear of punishment.
Harris was invited to the school by the Washington Township High School Organization of Students Against Drunk Drivers. Its president, Elizabeth Wood, a senior, said they wanted a more serious pre-prom presentation after having a hypnotist show at the school last year.
“We wanted to get the message out that (drugs and alcohol) is not all fun and games and that there are severe consequences,” she said.
Fellow senior Nathan Hendrix, also a member of SADD, said he could tell by the reaction of the students at the presentation that they saw what truly happens through drug and alcohol abuse.
“It hits especially close to home because the cases were all in Porter County,” he said.
Washington Township High School Principal Jerry Hale said it was critical for students to see what could happen if they make poor choices.
“I think it was important for the kids to get a clear message that their choices impact the rest of their lives,” he said.