FHS prom-goers pledge to make good decisions
Falkville held its annual Prom Promise program Wed., March 11, at Fairview: the Grace Place before their prom Friday evening.
The Town of Falkville, the Falkville Police Department, Falkville High School, Fairview and Peck Funeral Home collaborated to stress the importance of making wise decisions on prom night.
All prom-goers were invited to watch a video depicting a prom-night disaster involving a drunk-driving accident that kills seven teenagers and injures more. The video follows the students from their prom through the accident and to the sentencing and booking of the teenage drunk-driver.
After the video, a mock funeral was held for current Falkville senior Dallas Mayer. Students stood as Peck Funeral Home wheeled in a casket followed by Mayer’s parents, James and Tammy Mayer. Fairview pastor Milan Dekich delivered a eulogy on Mayer’s behalf and warned of the importance of making wise decisions.
“I know this is fake, and you don’t think that this could be you or one of your friends, but I’ve been in this situation before,” Dekich said. “I’ve lived this before, and we don’t want it to happen to you.”
FHS principal Glenn Lang and assistant principal Keith Wilemon emphasized not texting while driving or speeding in addition to abstaining from drinking and driving.
“One of the highest honors I have ever received was being asked to speak at a student’s funeral,” Wilemon said. “As much as I love each one of you, I never want to be asked to speak at a student’s funeral again. I want each of you to look back fondly on this night instead of regretting it or not walking away from it.”
FHS Student Resource Officer Seth Sullivan said Falkville has held a Prom Promise for more than ten years now. The event usually includes an outdoor mock wreck with responses from ambulances and fire trucks and victims being airlifted away from the scene. The weather changed plans slightly, but they were still pleased with the outcome.
“The program definitely delivers a real impression,” Sullivan said. “It’s a very sobering experience for all of us involved, not just the students. I get a lot of feedback saying it really made them think.”
Every student in attendance was invited to sign a masquerade prom decoration, pledging to not drive while impaired.
“We would like everyone to sign the pledge, but don’t sign it if you don’t mean it,” Sullivan said. “If you make the decision now to stay safe, you are less likely to make a poor decision later. Any parent would rather pick up their drunk child than have to identify them after an accident.”
Chief Chris Free said the police department would be available to give rides to those who need them.
“Each year we offer them a ride home with no legal consequences if they call us, but if we have to pick them up, we will take them to jail,” Free said. “We have gotten a few calls over the years, but we haven’t had any prom night incidents since I came to Falkville in 2005. We hope to keep it that way, so everyone can have a good night.”