December 15, 2018

Operation Ghost Out Teaches Heard High Students the Dangers of Distracted Driving

(Written by Gracie Rowe)

Each year, thousands of teens are killed in car accidents. Considering that two Heard County High School students have been killed in car accidents in the last three years, the issue of distracted driving hits close to home.

To this end, Operation Ghost Out took place at Heard County High School on Friday, April 13. The event was sponsored by the Heard County High School Student Council Association (SCA) and was held to inform the students about the dangers of distracted driving.

Since both prom and graduation are right around the corner, the SCA leaders felt that it was the perfect time to hold the event.

Operation Ghost Out consisted of the grim reaper coming into each classroom accompanied by police. Every twenty minutes throughout the whole school day, the grim reaper selected a student and brought them into the hallway. Then, the police officers would give the student a black Operation Ghost Out t-shirt, instruct them to put it on, and instruct them not to speak for the rest of the day.

This was done to visualize the startling statistic that in the United States, every twenty minutes a teenager is killed in a fatal car crash.

At the end of the school day, the Heard County Sheriffs’ Department, the Franklin City Police Department, and the Carroll County Sheriff’s Department spoke at an assembly. While students were walking to the assembly, they passed a car crash scene in which two students were acting as wounded victims demonstrating the danger of drinking and driving.

Heard High School Ghost-Out from on Vimeo.

Before they reached the wreck scene, they had to pass all the students who were representing the huge number of teen car crash fatalities. Once the students were inside the gym for the assembly, they immediately noticed a casket against the wall. The officers then presented a slide show and gave a lecture on the dangers of distracted driving.

Amanda Pike, SCA sponsor, helped organize the event. “I was very impressed with the students’ behavior and cooperation throughout the day as well as in the assembly. Even though the subject matter was intense and disturbing, the students handled it well. Hopefully we have enlightened the students and faculty of Heard County High School about the seriousness of distracted driving,” stated Pike.

Chief of Police Kevin Hannah let the students know how much he appreciated their attentiveness and positive attitudes. “I am extremely proud of each of you and the examples that you set, not only in school but in the community,” stated Chief Hannah. “Please let us know if there is anything we can do to assist you all.”

To see photos from this event visit

“Operation Ghost Out was a great experience. I really think it got the point across.”~Sophomore Kayleigh Coker

“It really made me think more about not texting and driving. The event was certainly an eye opener. We should definitely have another one next year.” ~Senior Kallie Jeter

“Two of my bestfriends were chosen to be “killed” so obviously they didn’t talk all day …and for me it really opened my eyes. I only have my learners license now but because of this program I don’t even keep my phone near me when I am driving.”~Freshman Brianna Nichole Todd


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