VIP Program @ Southern Lee

Over the past several months Deputy Cara Schneider, the SRO at Southern Lee High School, has been working hard on a plan that all fell into place today.

She worked with the volunteers at the program to bring an unforgettable day to the Junior and Senior classes at Southern Lee.  

The morning session  began with officials from the VIP program, Lee County Sheriff's Office, Sanford Fire Department, EMS, North Caroline State Highway Patrol, North Carolina Wildlife and a mother who lost a son just three weeks prior to his high school graduation in a car wreck.  Each of these shared the stories of how the death of a young person stays with them throughout their careers as well as their everyday lives.  They expressed how each life that sat before them was important.

The afternoon session was set up outside. Deputy Schneider read what happens in each moment of a car wreck, the havoc that the momentum wreaks on each part of the body.  Students were seated in bleachers as a car was uncovered.  Inside was a young man that had been involved in a deadly car wreck.  LCSO, SHP, Fire and EMS moved in lights and sirens to "work" the wreck and attempt to save the victim.  Doors and hoods were cut off as the victim was extracted.  As all of this happened, the "mother and father" of the victim arrived on scene.  Heart wrenching screams were heard and students sat in silence, many with tears in their eyes.  The "victim" was carried to an ambulance in a body bag as a voice played over the speakers of the "victim", of how he wanted to go to prom, of how he didn't mean to drink and drive, of how upset his parents would be. Friends constructed a cross and laid a flower at the scene.  At the end, a VIP volunteer again spoke to the teens. He highlighted how texting, speeding, drug/alcohol use were all deadly.  And somewhat off of the subject, he spoke of cyberbullying, of the impact that the things you post have on lives, and how one mean post could cause a young person to take their life.  At the end, there was silence.  Students walked away with obvious thought about what they had witnessed today. And many came to shake the hands of the first responders and volunteers that put this program on.  The Sheriff's Office would like to thank all of the staff at Southern Lee High School and all of the volunteers and first responders.  Deputy Schneider, thank you for all of your hard work.  Today was a great show of professionalism and pride in what we do. And to know that the volunteers with the VIP program do this out of the passion for this cause brings even more meaning to why we each wear a badge every day!

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