Weston Warhorse

A Touching and Teaching Moment

What Weston Students Thought of the Choices Matter Presentation

Catrin Zharyy, Assistant Editor-in-Chief

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On Thursday, December 7, all of Weston High School’s students and staff attended a school-wide assembly called “Choices Matter.” The main speaker was Chris Sandy, a man who goes from state to state—and has been to over 40 already—advocating for making good choices, and being aware of just how much your decisions can affect your life.
He speaks from personal experience. In 2000, when he was 21 years old and driving under the influence of alcohol, he crashed into a car carrying two passengers, unfortunately killing them both. He spent eight and a half years in prison, and came out of it a changed person and with a documentary having been made about his story: Enduring Regret: Chris Sandy Living Life After Causing Death. During his life in prison, he also made a new friend with a remarkably different story of drunk driving—Eric Krug.
Exactly three years before the tragedy that changed Sandy’s life, Krug had a tragedy in his own life. He was a passenger in a car being driven by someone who had enough alcohol to make her unsuited for operating a vehicle. The car hit a tree, and hurt Krug terribly. He was in different stages of a comma for around a year, and now struggles with movement and speech.
Krug has joined Sandy at many of his presentations, and we were very lucky that he was able to come to ours. Sandy details his personal journey as well as Krug’s in his book Enduring Regret: Two Different Stories of Drunk Driving, Two Very Different Prisons, available in our school library.
This assembly is part of Weston High School’s observable efforts to teach its students to make good decisions, whether it be with drugs, alcohol, online, or with others. On whether the presentation was important for WHS to have, Teddy Phillips ‘18 says, “It personally think it was a tough message for the students to hear, but it was most certainly necessary for us to learn. The speaker told an impactful story, I think the emotion he carried in his words was impactful. Everyone took something away no matter how minor.”
“I️ think administration is right to have a concern for teenagers and substance abuse,” says Willow Reid ‘19,”But, I️ think that the level of abuse is lower than they may think. ” Reid believes that to be truly effective, the assemblies WHS has about the dangers of alcohol and drug abuse should take a different approach: “Students may think that it’s ‘uncool’ to seek help for a problem they may have because they think everyone else is performing these acts. I think it’s important that people know peer influence is a huge part of substance abuse. If seeking help is looked down upon, then people may not do it…the type of presentation was heavily focused on personal consequences of the presenter. It was powerful, but I think a different type of presentation would be more influential for Weston students specifically.”
Kate Joyce ‘21 thought the assembly was necessary and effective. “It showed how one bad choice would affect the rest of your life, as well as the lives of others. Because of this, I think that Weston High School needed to hear this presentation. I’m sure that there are a handful of students who find themselves in the same, or similar, situations as the presenter. They may make bad decisions without recognizing the possible consequences of their actions”
School-wide assemblies occur every year, with different speakers who use a variety of approaches to connect to students. “I think compared to last year, this speaker was far more down to earth; I personally could connect with him,” says Phillips.
Joyce hopes that “as a result of this presentation, people think before they act, taking into consideration the consequences of what they’re about to do.”

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