December 17, 2018

Upcoming Teen Maze Lets Teens Experience Life

Vehicle Crash Scene from the Haralson County Teen Maze in 2016 (Photo: tanner.org)

(Franklin, GA) — Today’s teenagers are faced with many challenges along the path of life, challenges some parents have never experienced and so struggle with how to help their teens make smart decisions.

Heard County Community Partnership and its’ collaborative partners including Heard County School System are taking action to address teen issues by announcing the county’s participation in a Teen Maze.

This year, Heard Middle and High School students, with parental permission, will be allowed to participate in HCCP’s Teen Maze presentation.

The event will be held March 27th and 28th, 2018 at the Heard County Recreational Complex. Parents will have a preview opportunity March 27th prior to the event. Parents also will have the opportunity for their students to opt out of the Teen Maze but that is strongly discouraged.

HCCP and Heard Schools have made the decision to present to all Heard County teenagers as a result of the positive impacts and outcomes of the previous presentation in 2012.

According to Georgia Highway Safety Statistical Data, Heard County’s teen crash fatality rate has historically ranked 3.5 % higher than the state average.

In 2013, there were 10 births among Heard County’s 15-17 year-olds.

Teen Maze was presented in March of 2014 and utilized dolls, doctors, and daycare to show the Teens life with a child.

In both 2014 and 2015 there were 0 births. In 2016, the number has increased to six births. Teen Maze appears to be working if presented regularly.

The Teen Maze experience aims to show the youth of our community how the decisions they make now have long-lasting effects, not only on their lives but the lives of people around them as well.

The maze offers simulations of real-life choices, such as drinking and driving, texting and driving, drug use and abuse and shows the real life consequences of those choices allowing young people the experience without real life permanency.

It provides choices that will affect teens the rest of their lives, and the maze, like life, doesn’t let them choose their fate. It forces them to draw their fate out of a hat, then experience the consequences of the fate dealt to them, whether it be a pregnancy or STD from unprotected sex, or death from driving while texting.

They may experience parenthood, DUI, hospitalization, incarceration or the ultimate goal, graduation.

Along the path, Heard County professionals in various fields of expertise will present information to students. A student who ‘chooses’ to drink at a simulated party will face the Franklin Police Department.

Under the eye of a Heard County Deputy, a student who ‘chooses’ to drink and drive will experience driving a golf cart wearing impairment goggles that shows the varying levels of intoxication and their effect on driving skills.

Students will see a recreation of a crash scene and the emotional turmoil of a parent who’s lost a child in the crash.

A student who dies from drug abuse or an STD will see the Heard County Coroner, their own death certificate and their reflection in a casket. Students who make good choices will graduate with all due pomp and circumstance including a diploma. They may get a job and buy a home.

The ultimate goal of teen maze is to stimulate teens to think about the potential consequences of their choices before acting. By doing this, they have a better chance of reaching their ultimate goal in high school – timely high school graduation.

We will survey the students before and after to determine the effects of the experience on their beliefs.

Donations, in addition to grants from Community Foundation of West Georgia and Carroll EMC Operation Roundup, will fund the event.

For information on similar mazes occurring around Georgia, you may Google “Turner County Teen Maze,” “Crisp County Teen Maze,” “Troup County Teen Maze,” “Heard County Teen Maze” and “Haralson County Teen Maze.”

For more information or to volunteer, please contact Kathy Knowles with Heard County Community Partnership at 706-302-9776 or by email at hccp@heardcountyga.com.

Many agencies are involved in presenting the Maze.  A sampling of those to be included in the Maze and their roles include:

Heard County School System (graduation gowns and transportation)

Heard County Middle School (oversight, chaperoning and graduation ceremonies)

Heard County DFACS (adoption agency)

Heard County 4-H (pregnancy simulation and baby nursery)

Heard County Health Department (drugstore, pregnancy prevention, STDs

Heard County Sheriff’s Office (DUI Impairment Simulations, Arrests, Bullying Prevention)

Heard County Coroner & Pastor (Pronouncements, burials and notifications of next of kin)

Heard County Baby Braves Strategy Team (Teen pregnancy prevention)

Franklin Police Department (DUI Impairment Simulations, Arrests, Traffic Court, Texting Prevention)

Heard County EMA (DUI crash scene simulation)

Ga. Dept. of Labor (Career Information Center)

Parents As Teachers / Circle of Care Program (parenting info and assistance)

Pathways (mental health center)

West Georgia Prevention and Advocacy Center (teen violence awareness and prevention)

Bank of the Ozarks (mortgage information for students)

Pregnancy Resource Center of Carroll, Haralson, and Heard (teen pregnancy prevention)

Tanner Health System (tobacco cessation and drug prevention information)

West Ga Tech (Nursing, Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting Info)

University of West Georgia (Nursing, Pregnancy Prevention and Parenting Info)

Goodwill (Career Information Center)

Comments

  1. Joann Paschal says:

    Can students from other schools participate

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