MACEDONIA, Ohio — The Nordonia Hills City Schools District is teaming up with State Farm and Ohio Sports Chiropractic and Rehab for the fifth annual safe Decisions Week, which coincides with the district’s homecoming celebrations.
The week-long event will take place in all of the Nordonia schools from elementary to high school. The week will focus on safety and health education and will include hands-on learning to help high school drivers make safe driving decisions.
"Students learn in different ways. Students really like to be hands-on a lot of times. This gets them out of the building, out of their seats, and in a different experience,” said student wellness coordinator Zach Miley. “It opens their eyes to a different experience they may not have otherwise had. Which allows them to see things from a different perspective and get them to think about things that they may not have thought about others”
Students can participate in several interactive driver safety exercises during lunch. Students will have the opportunity to try Drive Team’s Skid Cart Simulator, sit in a semi-truck to experience Drive Team’s Semi-Truck Blind Spot Awareness, and drive Akron Children’s Hospital Distracted Driving Simulator.
“You hear it when you’re growing up that don’t text and drive, texting and driving kills people. And some people are like ‘it’s whatever,’” said senior Jeremy Patterson. “But as soon as you’re in that moment and you see it and you get in that first ‘oh what’s going to happen’ you’re realizing that this could kill you very easily and you’re not realizing it.”
Over the past five years, Safe Decisions Week has helped organize teen driving safety activities at the high school, interactive assemblies, daily safety themes for the district, safety pledge banners for each school, t-shirts, and commemorative jerseys for the football team.
“When I was learning how to drive, I remember being so focused on learning how to drive, and as soon as I was on my own and I started getting the distractions it became so much harder to grasp what I was trying to learn,” Patterson said. “Sometimes that text message on your phone might be very important and I hope this kind of demonstrates that it’s not important and it can wait.”
Safe Decisions Week wraps up Friday with the homecoming game and dance on Friday and Saturday. School officials say it’s a perfect time to brush up on some critical safety reminders.
“The goal is to bring great access to those resources to our students to teach them about making safe decisions as drivers, as student drivers but also with our younger grade levels about being safe passengers, safe citizens,” Miley said.