TAG hosts its 15th annual Grim Reaper Day

The Teen Awareness Group hosted its 15th annual Grim Reality Day on May 7. The day has previously focused on the dangers of drinking and driving, but this year it also emphasized mental health.

The Teen Awareness Group is an organization dedicated to helping students navigate the pressures of high school and learn about risky behaviors. TAG president Grace Roseme ’19 said the changes were made as the group reevaluated the most relevant topics to students.

“We felt that it was time to address not only drunk driving, but also some of the reasons students may choose to drink or use other substances,” Roseme said. “That’s what lead us to choose a speaker who shared his experience with mental illness.”

The day featured speaker John Morello, who talked about his own dependency to weed and his experiences watching those around around him struggle with drug addiction. He also opened up about his mental health illnesses and provided students advice as to how to cope with their own.

“I thought the speaker was one of the best I’ve seen,” Ava Sholes ’20 said. “I thought he was especially effective because he had experience in witnessing a relative die in a drunk driving accident, and he opened up about his struggles with addiction.”

Thirty students stood in front of the school holding up a sign that read “Every 48 minutes someone is killed in a drunk driving accident.” This act strayed from the customary crashed car displayed in front of the school that TAG has assembled in the past, which the group has used as a reminder of how brutal drunk driving accidents can be.

The students each had a number one through 30 drawn on their face to represent the 30 people who fall victim to drunk driving each day.

Hannah Paprotna ’20 volunteered for the day for the first time this year. “I thought participating in Grim Reality Day would be a good opportunity for me to get more involved with the school,” Paprotna said. “It also spreads a really essential message.”

Aidan Vosper ’21 agrees that Grim Reality Day is an important wakeup call to many. “I look forward to the day every year because I think it reminds people about the risks of drunk driving,” Vosper said. “A lot of people forget that it can affect far more people than just yourself.”

Photo by Siri Kanter ’20
TAG hung up posters throughout the school displaying statistics relating to mental health and driving under the influence.