L-W Central Students Experience Powerful Lesson about Drinking and Driving
Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Hundreds of students and parents experienced the Road to Reality, a powerful six-scene reenactment of the real life consequences of underage drinking and driving.

The event was hosted at Lincoln-Way Central and featured dozens of student actors as well as roles played by the New Lenox Police, Will County Sheriffs Department, Will County judges, Will County Coroners Office and doctors and nurses from Silver Cross Hospital.

The Road to Reality is a long-standing tradition at Lincoln-Way Central, said Dr. Steve Provis, Principal of Lincoln-Way Central. We are grateful to have the participation of so many local officials and organizations who share our commitment to painting a real picture for students about what can happen after one bad decision.

The re-enactment opens at a party scene where a mother knows about the alcohol but asks the teenagers to stay the night, give her the car keys, and refrain from driving. Sixteen-year-old Sarah gets an upsetting phone call from her boyfriend and persuades her best friend Pete to let her drive his car and ride with her to pick up her boyfriend.

Lincoln-Way Road to Reality student volunteers escort the audience members to the second scene a multi-vehicle accident where New Lenox Police use the jaws of life to remove Pete from the vehicle. Sarah is hand-cuffed and Pete is taken in an ambulance to the next scene, the emergency room of Silver Cross Hospital. Each scene is set in different rooms throughout Lincoln-Way Central.

At the hospital scene, doctors fail to save Pete and he is pronounced dead while Sarah is questioned and escorted out by police.

Next, the audience visits the Regret Room where Sarah begins to realize that her life will never be the same, scholarships and college will become lost opportunities and she will most likely face jail time.

It was just one night, but Im the reason Petes dead. I killed my best friend, Sarah cries.

In the court room, Sarah faces Will County judge Brian Barrett who gives her a 14-year prison sentence. Barrett explained to the audience that this is a realistic consequence and something he sees quite frequently in his court room.

Students then visited the Coroner Room where Will County Deputy Coroner Mike Vanover discussed the heart-wrenching reality of delivering news to parents who lose their child in a drunk driving accident.

He urged students to sign a Contract for Life, an agreement with their parents that they will never get behind the wheel of a car after theyve been drinking.

Lincoln-Way Central Student Council President Kaileigh Nelson said she believes the hospital room is the most powerful and moving scene.

Lincoln-Way Central Associate Principal Dr. Beth McNamara said teachers and staff members across a variety of curricular areas volunteer their time to be on the Road to Reality planning committee because they support and believe in this powerful message against drinking and driving.

Each year, we try to enhance the script and really provide a current day representation that relates to our students, McNamara said.

At times, it really hit me and I almost started crying, said freshman Lauren Gordon. I will definitely remember this presentation.

Following the presentation, audience members visit with local organizations that offer resources and information around teen safety.