Somber Strikes on Ghost-Out Day

At the high school’s 14th annual Ghost-Out Day on March 23, the Students Against Destructive Decisions Club held a powerful campaign to bring awareness to the tragic cost of substance abuse.

Every 20 minutes during the day, a gong sounded over the loudspeakers, and a student dressed as the Grim Reaper entered a classroom. As a real-life scenario was read to the class, depicting a person being killed due to drugs or alcohol, the Reaper walked around the room and chose someone to “strike.” Over the course of the day, the Reaper struck 16 times, and the selected students wear black T-shirts denoting their status, remaining silent for the rest of the day as a reminder of the young lives lost every 16 minutes due to substance abuse.

“This is always a very somber day and encourages discussions about avoiding drugs and alcohol and not becoming part of this deadly statistic,” said teacher and SADD adviser Bridget Lopiccolo, who organizes the event each year. “Sadly, today’s statistic is actually every eight minutes, which is stunning. I can’t even physically get around our school and do the readings and striking every eight minutes. We need to make this stop, and we need to work together as a community and school to educate our students to not fall into this sad path. This is a national problem and something needs to be done. It is SADD’s mission to help save our students. Unfortunately, many of them have lost a loved one due to drugs or alcohol, and my response was to tell them not to become part of this statistic. I told them that we care and love them too much to see that happen, and that they should save themselves and their friends by staying away from drugs and alcohol.”