Long Beach Teens Learn Sobering Prom Lesson

On Friday morning, teens at Long Beach High prepared to take the ride of their lives.

"We're going to do the tricycles all the way to the cones," explained one student.

They had to race through an obstacle course, wearing special goggles that made them feel like they were drunk.

"I can't even pedal," said another student.

"On your mark. Get set. Go," shouted a teacher.

The relay race showed the students the dangerous reality of drinking and driving.

"There's a lot of drinking and alcohol going on at prom," said Long Beach Junior Angela Tillman.

She is also president of the teen advocacy group Frontline.

"So, we thought it would be eye-opening to show what really happens, and how hard it really is to drive and just perform."

Jimmy Johnson of the Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi said, "You shot the hoops. How many did you see?"

"I saw three goals," answered a student who tried to shoot some basketballs.

"I never felt like that in my entire life," said Long Beach Senior Jayson Gordon. "I couldn't see pretty much anything. Everything I've seen was just doubles and triples."

The students had to imagine what would happen if a baby crossed their path.

"What we're trying to do is tell these kids that they're all leaders," said Johnson. "We want them to understand that alcohol is a dangerous drug. Prom is a good time, a wonderful time. But we don't want it to be a sad time."

As the students signed a poster and a Prom Promise form, they pledged not to let drugs and alcohol ruin their memorable night.

While the juniors and seniors watched the relay race, the freshmen and sophomores watched a graphic video about the dangers of drinking and driving. Frontline, the Long Beach Substance Abuse Task Force, and Partnership for a Healthy Mississippi sponsored the program.