Ascension Parish students cast in prom night PSA

ASCENSION PARISH, LA (WAFB) - Some students in Ascension Parish are part of a new campaign aimed at encouraging students to make smart decisions on prom night. Juniors and seniors at St. Amant, Dutchtown, East Ascension and Donaldsonville High schools were asked to play a role in a Public Service Announcement (PSA) that has gone viral.

The halls of St. Amant High School are buzzing with excitement. It is prom week; the night juniors and seniors have been looking forward to all year.

"I think I'm most excited about getting all dressed up and being with my friends and getting to share that last experience with everyone before graduation," Ally Bordelon said.

Bordelon is one of several seniors who plays a role in the PSA campaign aimed at reminding high school students that one bad decision on prom night could ruin their futures. It addresses the dangers of drinking and driving and distracted driving. The PSA features students who are getting dressed for prom when they learn a classmate has been arrested. Senior, Victoria Gardner, said the one-minute video really drives the message home.

"You see it in the news. You read about it in the paper, but it's never real until it happens here. When they see a scenario in a video like that it really makes people think," Gardner said.

There are reminders on all school computers, televisions, social media pages, and there is even a snap chat filter for students to share. St. Amant High School Principal Beth Templet said the message is everywhere.

"We just want to make sure the decision they make they can live with and it's not going to be something that ruins the rest of their life," Templet said.

The PSA is getting rave reviews from the group, Mothers Against Drunk Driving. MADD Louisiana Program Manager Valerie Cox said it is a creative way to fit with the group's mission to eliminate underage drinking.

"Kids these days are not looking at paper products or stats, but when they see their peers doing and reacting in a scene like this it really touches home," Cox said.

St. Amant Senior, Catherine Carpenter, said her peers are paying attention.

"I've had a lot of people who are not even at our school tell me, hey I saw you in that video the other day. So, I know people are seeing the video," Carpenter said.

Ascension Parish School System spokesperson, Jackie Tisdell said it is the exact the audience system leaders are trying to reach.

"This year we went to the students. We wanted to get the message to the students. Students from all four of our high schools participated in the PSA, not just in front of the camera but behind. They helped do the production, helped consult with us on social media strategies. We feel this year we are really speaking to the students," Tisdell said.

The PSA was shot in partnership with the Ascension Parish Sheriff's Office and Gonzales Police Department. It was paid for through a grant from Capital Area Human Services.

You can watch the PSA here. Learn more about MADD here.

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