NC teens gather for a conference aimed at keeping kids safe


They are all members of the group SADD, Students Against Destructive Decisions.

Ironically, the SADD conference was held just one week after a fatal crash in Harnett County. Troopers say two young men and one teenage girl were killed, and two 17-year-old girls were left in critical condition after the driver tried to run through a checkpoint. Police believe alcohol was involved.

At the SADD conference, students pledged to not drive drunk, to avoid texting and driving, and they vowed to always wear their seatbelts.

"You come to these conferences to learn to not make those careless mistakes which could ultimately change your life forever," said Mathias Thorpe.

The messages were presented through a "Hunger Games" theme, with the motto: "may your decisions ever be positive." Students heard from various speakers who shared how poor decisions led to tragic consequences in their lives.

However, some of the teens attending the conference had already experienced losses in their lives motivating them to join the group SADD in the first place.

"I started SADD because one of my friends, Dimetri, was killed by a drunk driver," said Caroline Edens.

"I don't want to see any more people hurt, I don't want to have to go to any more friends' funerals," she added.

While the students were congratulated on taking part in the important conference, what is even more crucial are the messages they will now take back to their schools with them.

"It's good to take away and take back to your home school because you can't bring everybody, but just for the people you brought to take this back to your SADD program at your local school could really help people change their lives," said Thorpe.

"Just be who you are, don't let other people tell you what you need to do or act like them, "said Edens.

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