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AHS Drivers Ed wins 2007 Snohomish County DUI/Traffic Safety Task Force awards
ARLINGTON Because it offers personal testimonials and involves parents in their childrens education and safety, the Arlington High School Drivers Education program was recognized with awards from the Snohomish County Driving while Under the Influence and Traffic Safety Task Force.
AHS Drivers Ed instructors James Brooke, Jim Anderson, Bruce Hubbard, Fred Johnson and Brett Sarver received 2007 DUI/Traffic Safety awards from the county for contributing to life-saving traffic safety in 2006, along with AHS and Cascade District Court Judge Jay Wisman and Arlington Police Officer Peter Barrett.
Brooke and Sarver said this year marked the AHS Drivers Ed programs third win in this category. They credited this success to their partnership with Wisman and their parent/student nights, with speakers from the Snohomish County DUI/Traffic Safety Task Force, among others.
They share information and stories, and afterwards parents and their children can have conversations about what they would do in those sorts of scenarios, Brooke said. Back when I was in high school, we had three students in our graduating class whose names were listed as, In memory of Were doing our best to prevent that from happening.
Sarver recalled one speaker whose passengers had died as a result of his DUI.
The level of impact was unbelievably tragic, Sarver said. Not only had he destroyed his livelihood and his family, but hed also taken human life. For weeks afterwards, I heard students reminding one another of his story.
Brooke agreed that such accounts make teens realize theyre not invulnerable.
It makes it real for them, Brooke said. Its not just something that happens to someone else. They hear from people who have lost parents and children. It provides teachable moments, and while we cant guarantee students will have conversations with their parents afterwards, just opening the door for parental involvement can result in a drastic drop in such accidents.
Brooke said that AHS parents deserve a greater share of the credit for keeping students safe than the Drivers Ed program does, while Sarver went on to thank the Snohomish County Sheriffs Office and the Arlington Police Department for also taking part in the parent/student nights.
Sarver explained that AHS is one of the last public schools in Washington state to continue its Drivers Ed program, since state funding for such programs was cut half a decade ago. Brooke elaborated that the school offers flexible payment schedules for students in need.
Driving is an important life skill, Brooke said. A lot of districts have cut anything not related to the WASL, but Linda Byrnes, Warren Hopkins and the school board really stepped up to advocate for this program as a service to the community. Without their support, it wouldnt have survived.
While seeking to safeguard their students with life lessons, Brooke and Sarver also get to know a broader cross-section of Arlingtons youth than they might otherwise.
Im a Special Education teacher, but I still meet 90 percent of the kids at school, which is neat, Sarver said.