The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

The student news site of Atascocita High School

The Talon

Shattered Dreams Showcases Brutal Realities of Drunk Driving

In the yearbook room lies a seat that remained unoccupied for two years in order to honor Chloe Robison, who would’ve graduated in 2020. The empty space served, not only as a symbol of remembrance for a soul taken too early, but also as a constant reminder that drinking and driving is never worth the possible consequences.

The Shattered Dreams program exists to spread awareness on the issue by demonstrating the horrors of driving drunk.

“We wanted students to understand that this could happen to anyone and to imagine what it was like if they were here one day and not the next,” social studies teacher Randy Tumlison said. 

The students not chosen to participate in the car crash reenactment were given the opportunity to have a eulogy written and read aloud. The students are given the aspect of not only having someone close to them write their eulogy, but it is also then read aloud in front of teachers and classmates.

Tumlison reads the eulogy he wrote for his student, Valerie. (Photo taken by Katie Munoz)

“This program gets me every time,” Tumlison said. “I build relationships with these kids throughout, and some I have taught and known for several years. It is emotional to hear these stories and more so when I have to write one like I did this year.” 

The purpose of the eulogy reading is to show what impact a students’ death would mean to their family, friends and classmates. Tumlison wrote a eulogy for junior Valerie Hernandez, who he has taught for two years.

“It was a very humbling experience,” Hernandez said. “It felt very real even though I was very much alive. To hear my teacher, who is one of the people I care about the most, speak about me as if I was dead was very emotional and I cried a lot. I learned how severe the consequences can be when it comes to drinking and driving and what the outcome can be from every perspective.”

Despite rumors from the community, the cost of running Shattered Dreams is completely free. Ben Taub Hospital partners with the school and offers up the hospital for filming. As for Emergency Personnel and the PHI Training helicopter, they all come out for free, as this is a training exercise and they want to lower the number of distracted driving incidents by any means. 

While Ben Taub offers a video crew, the AV Production team chooses to produce the project themselves, as it is something for students to add to their portfolios. The program also asks for donations from people and businesses in the community and has never had an issue with people stepping up. Along with this, they usually do a fundraiser each year, with this year obtaining funds through the Kona Ice Truck.

“The cost of the program to a school is zero, zilch, nada,” Tumlison said. “We have done this program since 2014 and never once have we had to use student funds.”

Shattered Dreams has taken place every two years since 2014. Tumlison says he thinks all high schools in the district should utilize this program, as it not only involves the collaboration of many community members but more importantly, it saves lives.

Junior Kylie Newell, who was a part of the crew for Shattered Dreams, stands on Main Street and provides statistics for students who pass by. (Photo taken by Hannah Vadhar)

“I can honestly say we have had a lot of students say this program changed their lives for the better,” Tumlison said. “Kids have changed Prom plans, they are more aware of what they are doing in their car while driving, they use seatbelts all the time now, and they watch their texting while driving.”

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Maria Rodriguez
Maria Rodriguez, Writer
This is Maria Rodriguez's second year on the newspaper and yearbook staff. She enjoys writing feature stories. Along with these, Maria also plays tennis. In her free time she likes to read, crochet, and watch movies. Maria adores her cat, Sol.

Comments (0)

All The Talon Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *