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The Student News Site of Foothill Technology High School

The Foothill Dragon Press

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The Foothill Dragon Press

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Editorial: If we want Every 15 Minutes, we must be willing to work for it

Every Fifteen Minutes has been cancelled because of lack of time for planning and a faculty member to take charge of it. Photo Illustration Credit: Aysen Tan and Kazu Koba/The Foothill Dragon Press
The Editorial Review Board of the Foothill Dragon Press has voted to defend the rights of the Playwickian staff. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press
The Editorial Review Board of the Foothill Dragon Press unanimously believes that the students of Foothill Technology must take charge of Every 15 Minutes if they truly wish to have the program return. Credit: Aysen Tan/The Foothill Dragon Press

It’s almost that time of year. The time when the school watches old, slightly cheesy documentaries about teens who have driven under the influence, have friends and classmates “die,” and altogether share a good cry and learn a valuable life lesson: don’t drive under the influence.

Sadly, though, Every 15 Minutes will not be happening this year, because there is not enough time for planning, and no adviser who has the time to plan it.

Usually held at Foothill every other year, Every 15 Minutes aims to teach students the negative effects of driving under the influence, something that can’t usually be felt unless you have actually experienced a loss because of this.

The fact that Foothill will not be holding Every 15 Minutes means that this lesson will not be seared into the minds of students like in years prior. Yes, there is always health class for the freshmen, but anyone can tell you facts about driving under the influence. You can know every fact there is, but it is difficult to take those facts to heart unless you have been affected by them.

Without this program, we are simply giving students facts that they probably won’t remember a month from now versus an experience that they will remember for the rest of their lives.

It is well understood that the planning for Every 15 Minutes is time consuming. The blame should not be put onto ASB for two main reasons. The first being that ASB has never been in charge of planning the event in the past and Every 15 Minutes. The second being that it would be unreasonable to demand ASB to add another project on top of all of the events that ASB plans and takes charge of for our school.

Students, however, still hold the right to be disappointed. Every 15 Minutes has been a huge event at Foothill since 2008, and the feeling of a rug being pulled out from under our feet is also understandable, if not expected.

It is also understood that Every 15 Minutes can be emotionally draining, especially after the death of former Foothill teacher Chris Prewitt, and even more recently of Ventura County sheriff’s deputy Eugene Kostiuchenko, who was hit by an individual driving under the influence on Oct. 28, 2014.

On the contrary, the Foothill Dragon Press believes that the timing could not be better. Students and teachers will only find this event even more relatable, and Every 15 Minutes can bring home the fact that drunk driving can not only impact the individual, but also the community.

The fact of the matter is, we need Every 15 Minutes.

For every student that remembers what they felt when their friend “died,” isn’t there one less potential drunk driver? It would decrease the chances of them getting behind the wheel while intoxicated, or letting anyone else drive while drunk. That number may not be impressive for some, but there are plenty of people reading this who know that one less person makes all the difference. One less life ruined, one less life lost.

In the comments of the news article “‘Every 15 Minutes’ Cancelled Due to Lack of Time for Preparation,” Melanie “Captain” Lindsey commented that it is time for students to step up and organize this ourselves. In this situation, the Foothill Dragon Press could not agree more. In fact, Every 15 Minutes was originally run by students and staff when it started in 2008, with the help of ASB, until 2010 and 2012 when previous ASB advisor Darcy Duffy took charge of it.

Foothill, we need to act. We need to bring back an important experience that not only we, but future generations will miss out on. We need to remember that for every person who has lost someone, whether in a simulation or real life, that there will be one less drunk driver, because it can be guaranteed that if you know what it’s like to lose someone so unexpectedly, you would not want to inflict this pain onto anyone else.

Students and teachers must take charge if we want to continue Every 15 Minutes. We cannot simply place it on ASB, and expect them to do any and every event we ask them, regardless of the other countless requests they are already handling. We need to go back to when Every 15 Minutes was run by the students. While it is too late to hold it this year, there is still hope that Foothill can bring Every 15 Minutes back next year.

We cannot let the last Every 15 Minutes be in 2012. There are multitudes of students who more than likely do not know the full scale of what could happen when driving under the influence. As much as we would like to think that a semester of health will do the trick in getting this message across, the reality is that it doesn’t.

Since Every 15 Minutes began, there has never been a Foothill student implicated for driving under the influence. This program has clearly made an impact on those who have experienced the simulation.

We will not learn by just reading facts about how many people die every year because of drunk driving, and we will not learn through watching a video or two. As Benjamin Franklin once said, “Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I’ll remember. Involve me and I learn.” Not just students, but our community needs to learn this lesson that is often underrated. Every 15 Minutes not only shows students, but also their families and teachers, how horrible it is to lose a loved one.

The Foothill Dragon Press believes that in order to not let Every 15 Minutes fade away, students need to take charge in order to preserve an important Foothill tradition. Students must be able to stand up and take action in order to make things happen, rather than giving every responsibility to ASB and complaining when something doesn’t happen. The only way Every 15 Minutes can continue at Foothill is if the students and staff organize themselves and make what they want to have happen become a reality, not just a suggestion.

 Background Photo Illustration Credit: Aysen Tan and Kazu Koba/The Foothill Dragon Press

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Comments on articles are screened and those determined by editors to be crude, overly mean-spirited or that serve primarily as personal attacks will not be approved. The Editorial Review Board, made up of 11 student editors and a faculty adviser, make decisions on content.
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  • G

    Glenda MarshallNov 24, 2014 at 12:47 am

    I get that you guys didn’t know about it, but I promise that this is not the first time something will catch you off guard. My senior year, they told us three weeks before a national trip that we couldn’t go because of AB 1575 and so we had to get creative. Sure it took us a few months, but we got our bonding trip back together because we were dedicated. Every 15 Minutes is not the only way to make a statement about drunk driving. Sure it might seem like it is the most effective but look into other options and I guarantee you can come up with something that makes a big difference. Just because you can’t get the exact same program back doesn’t mean you can’t come up with something else.

  • G

    Glenda MarshallNov 19, 2014 at 2:42 pm

    I have been saving my very first Foothill Dragon Press comment for an article that I thought was particularly well done, and I want to give this author major props. This article did a great job of addressing every side of the issue and made several great points. Although it is an editorial and expresses a clear opinion, it’s obvious that the staff paid attention to the comments on the previous article and took every opinion into consideration. I know from personal experience that it is really flipping hard to write an opinion article on a controversial issue, and this piece is very sophisticated. To the disgruntled senior who posted below, this is an article that covers every part of an issue and makes a statement based on that information. It isn’t an apology, it’s an EDITORIAL. This is exactly what journalists are supposed to do. You should respect the Dragon Press more for its sophistication. Also, you shouldn’t be waiting on ASB to do everything for you. Even if you didn’t know before, there is plenty you can do now instead of complaining. Finally, her name is Captain not Mrs. Lindsey. And in addition to that, you spelled her name wrong.

    • K

      KileyNov 20, 2014 at 4:30 am

      For seniors there isn’t plenty to do now. This was our last opportunity for Every 15 Minutes. You can’t advocate that students should step up if they had no idea about it. Yeah, people who are actually going to be here next year can take this project on, but seniors had no idea until it was too late and have a right to be upset. This isn’t about “wanting ASB to do everything for you.”

    • S

      SeniorNov 22, 2014 at 2:10 pm

      If I’m a senior, what can I do now? (Honest question)

      Captain is a term of respect. You can’t demand we call her that.

  • D

    Disgruntled SeniorNov 18, 2014 at 8:40 am

    This article seems like it was written because of the backlash on the other article, which makes me respect this publication less. Why is the dragon press writing an apologetic piece? It isn’t their fault that students had backlash against Mrs. Lindsay’s lack of planning.

    “Students must be able to stand up and take action in order to make things happen, rather than giving every responsibility to ASB and complaining when something doesn’t happen”

    ^^^ Students couldn’t take charge when it wasn’t even made known to us until very recently that Lindsay wasn’t doing Every 15 Minutes this year. That isn’t students fault, that’s staff fault. If she’d asked for help, we would’ve given it.

  • D

    DominicNov 17, 2014 at 6:52 am

    I looked it up: Someone should send an email to find out what’s involved in applying for this program. Do we need a grant writer? If a student is allowed to apply, I’ll do it. I have no idea how to write a grant proposal though. I’ll bet that you have to be 18.
    Name: Denise Tapia, Teen Choices Grant Coordinator
    Organization: California Highway Patrol
    Phone: 916-843-3351
    Email: [email protected]

  • J

    jenniferNov 16, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    At some schools across the state I know they have a separate club that does it with its own advisor. I’ve actually heard of the counselors being the advisors at some of the schools.