This program illustrates in a dramatic way the devastation that drinking and driving can cause. The goal of this program is to impact students to make the decision to never drink and drive and to never get into a vehicle with an impaired driver.
How Ghost Out Works
- Establish a Ghost Out committee made up of SADD chapter members, parents, school administrators, the school counselor, community members, faculty, and the School Resource Officer. Be sure to also include your Safe and Drug Free Schools Coordinator as many of them have funds for this event.
- Select a date for your Ghost Out (often it is the second Friday of March, but can be any date).
- Get permission and cooperation from your Principal.
- Create posters, flyers, school newsletter PSA’s, and daily announcement PSA’s. Call your local media and invite them to attend as well.
- At least one week prior to the event, hang posters and flyers in prominent places on campus. Distribute the flyer, with details on the event, to each faculty and administrator. It is imperative that the event be well publicized. You do NOT want to have students unaware on the day of the event as they could think that their fellow students were really dead, and become traumatized.
Middle School Program
- In addition to the above, it is recommended that you send a flyer home with each student and include a parental permission form for participation in the event.
- Put all of the signed permission forms in box and pull the selected number of “ghosts” at random.
On Ghost Out Day
- During the morning announcements, state that every hour about eight students will “die.” This will yield, over six hours, the equivalent of one full day of DUI deaths in the United States (about 48).
- Approximately every seven minutes, a person designated as the Grim Reaper goes into a classroom and taps a student on the shoulder. One method is for neither the teacher nor the students to know whom the next “victim” will be; alternately, make only SADD members “ghosts.” For Middle Schools, see above.
- Tapped students briefly leave the room and don black T-shirts, choir robes, black arm bands, or “sandwich signs” identifying them as victims of a drunk driving crash. They may be made up to look like corpses, or have a single tear painted on their faces, or whatever else you decide will set them apart as “ghosts.”
- The students return to class and behave well, but they do not sit in their regular seats. Further, the teacher will treat them as if they aren’t there, and the “living” students must do the same. Ghosts can only interact with other ghosts.
At the end of the day, the Grim Reaper leads a parade of “ghosts” to a school-wide assembly. EMS representatives, student leaders, and/or administrators comment on the problem of drunk driving, and a moment of silence is observed. If there is a person in your area who was impacted by such an accident, they are often very effective speakers at this type of program. Some schools even display photos of all of the students lost to drunk driving crashes from that school. When the assembly ends, students go home like any other day; but none will forget the message.
Be sure to send FL SADD photos of your event so that we can post them on-line!