A new national program targeting high school students aims to help states improve their efforts to stop teenage drunken driving. Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) and a group called Outside the Classroom hope by next year to offer an online alcohol class to schools to supplement their health or driver’s education classes.
The groups want children throughout the nation, regardless of the quality of their schools or interaction with school resource officers, to receive the same information when it comes to alcohol. A similar program exists for college students.
“It’s kind of hit or miss, depending on where you live,” said Jana Nelson, national director of programs for MADD. “Some school resource officers are very engaged in the classroom, and some are so involved in enforcement they can’t be in the classroom. We want to make it more standardized, so it will be the same [wherever] you live.”
A similar program used by college students across the country presents information about the medical and social effects of drinking. Programs incorporate state-specific statistics, stories, and legislation.
Driver’s education teacher Robert Peteet, who has instructed teen drivers for 27 years, said he welcomes any addition that will impact his students.
“We can never say enough about this. Teenagers need to be aware,” said Peteet, a teacher at Carter High School in Dallas.