Red Cloud Indian School celebrates Red Ribbon Week

posted on October 25, 2011

As part of Red Ribbon Week, Oglala Sioux Tribe Department of Public Safety – Highway Safety Division made a visit to Red Cloud High School. The seniors gathered in the Paul “Dizzy” Trout Memorial Field House to take part in a presentation put on by Highway Safety Sergeant Ken Franks and Troopers Owen Olsen, Kevin Rascher and Terry DeMasters.

The visit began with a presentation of in-depth definitions of distracted driving such as texting, and impaired driving such as under the influence of drugs. Photos of accidents caused by these types of driving were displayed. The officers educated on the importance of seatbelts. They stressed proper use of restraints as it is the second leading cause of death in the United States.

Seniors were given the opportunity to experience the effects of impaired driving. At one end of the field house students wore goggles that simulated the visual impairment of alcohol and were opted to drive a petal vehicle through cones that represented children. On the opposite end, others wore the same goggles but were asked to attempt to play basketball. Activities were then switched and "Field Sobriety Tests" were given to students.

“Our main reason for being here is to bring awareness of seatbelt use, drunk driving and texting while driving and the consequences it has," explains Sgt. Ken Franks.

Red Cloud High School Dean of Students, Robin Johnson believes the visit with the seniors will create a good relationship between the students and Highway Safety as well as the police department.

“This was an opportunity to promote safety because we have a lot of student drivers,” says Robin. “Hopefully they will realize the impact [using seatbelts] will have on their lives.”

The Highway Safety department visited a number of middle schools and high schools and plans to continue throughout the month. A public service announcement has been created at KILI Radio(local radio) by collaboration between 3 high school student body presidents: Brenna Banks (Red Cloud), Ella Pedragon (Pine Ridge) and TJ Pourier (Little Wound). The PSA supports seatbelt safety and safe and sober driving.