Prom Promise


Knoxville (WVLT) - Each year at prom season, somewhere in the country, family, friends and schools are effected by the loss of a student to a drunk driving accident. With prom season upon us here in East Tennessee, schools are getting students prepared to make safe decisions.

"Your one decision is a ripple and it's a ripple effect that effects everyone around you so that's why it's important to be here and we're the ones that are starting not the bad ripple, we're starting the good ripple," Christine Francis says.

Students hope their 'good ripple' will reach enough students before prom night this year. So they came together at West High School to take the prom challenge.

"We try to educate our students about not drinking, not making destructive decisions," KPD officer Blake Barham says.

And that's why Christine Farmer wears her "Students Against Destructive Decisions" shirt proudly.

"It's important to me because I like to remember things that I do and I think it's good to have the entire high school experience, and I don't want to mess it up," Farmer says.

To show students how they could mess up...the Knoxville Police Department set up activities using goggles that effect your vision.

"Just trying to walk that experience isn't fun, and I'm not even intoxicated," Farmer says.

Blake McMeans shared his personal experience. In 1994, McMeans was paralyzed in a drunk driving accident.

"I don't want them to go through the same, stuff I went through in the hospital, I mean it was awful," McMeans says.

And students learned how one wrong decision could effect someone who was making the right one.

"They can be on their way home from a great night where they haven't done anything wrong, and get hit by somebody that didn't make the same choices," Officer Barham says.

So students made a promise to make positive choices, and have a safe prom.

"It's your word, not everyone will stick to their word, but my words really important to me," Farmer says.

Losing students to underage drinking hits close to home for students in Knox County. In the past year, West High School has been tragically effected by several student deaths related to alcohol.


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