Tragedy has rocked Wren High School in Anderson County again and again.
Now, school leaders are trying a new way to keep students from dying behind the wheel.
Tracey Williams wears a picture of her daughter Danielle around her neck and close to her heart.
“It has been a struggle every day,” Williams said. “The pain never goes away.”
Danielle Williams died nearly six months ago along with two other Wren graduates after her car went off the road and hit a tree when they were coming home from a shopping trip.
She was a senior at Wren set to graduate just two months later.
Now, her mother is coming back talking to other students.
“If this meeting will help one family, or one child just in the back of their head, then that’s our goal,” Williams said.
The high school and ANMED partnered up to teach students and parents about safe driving. The school made it mandatory for students who wanted a parking permit.
“It seemed like a natural fit to include the parents, so that we can all be on the same page,” principal Nichole Boseman said.
Students said the program was useful.
“I really took away to be more careful when I’m driving,” 16-year-old, Bri Jones said. “I tend to go 10 to 15 miles over the speed limit if I’m in a hurry, and I should really stop doing that.”
ANMED staff presented statistics to students and parents and warned them of the dangers of distractions like texting, speeding, having friends in cars, and driving at night.
According to records, 31 students have died in Anderson County since 2007. Sixteen of those students have been in Anderson District One which is more than the county’s other districts combined. Of the 16 deaths, 11 have been Wren High and Middle School students.
“It’s not just texting and driving, drinking and driving, it can be the radio,” Tonya Jones said. “It can be anything. We just need to be more open with our kids. Our kids need to be more open with us.”
The next meeting will be Tuesday evening at 6.