Ghost Out program presented at HCHS

Published 1:30 pm Monday, April 30, 2018

With their prom only a day away, students at Harlan County High School received a warning about the dangers of drinking and driving on Friday as part of the Ghost Out program from the Cumberland Valley Area Development District, a presentation complete with the Grim Reaper, numerous police officers and speakers who cautioned the hundreds of teenagers in attendance not to drink and drive or ride with anyone who had.

After hearing from Harlan County Commonwealth’s Attorney Parker Boggs and other speakers, the hundreds of HCHS students in attendance watched the program led by CVADD highway safety coordinator Dreama Wright.

Students participating in the program entered the gym in a procession with candles in hand followed by the Grim Reaper, played by Harlan County Sheriff’s Office deputy Chris Brewer. With Pastor Bo Lee, the leader of the school’s First Priority group, reading a story of how the student died followed by their obituary, the Grim Reaper touched each student on the shoulder. Police officers covered each student with a sheet as Lee completed the student’s story.

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The final student in line, Sasha Patterson, broke away from the Grim Reaper before he could touch her. She immediately called her parents, asking if they could pick her up since she didn’t want to be driven home by a friend who was drinking. The lesson to students was they should always call a parent or friend to pick them up at a party rather than drive with someone who was intoxicated.

Harlan County High School Principal Edna Burkhart closed the program by telling the students to have fun but be careful and follow the advice they saw during the program. Shane Jacobs, public affairs officer with the Kentucky State Police, participated in the program, along with Chief Deputy Matt Cope and deputies Bill Howard and Denny Jones, all of the Harlan County Sheriff’s Office, and Harlan County High School Youth Services Center coordinator Cathy York.

If you are interested in learning more about the highway safety program in the Cumberland Valley Area Development District, or would like to schedule an event, call Wright at 606-864-7391.