Lynbrook High School held its annual Human Relations Day on Feb. 27, bringing together a group of diverse speakers who addressed some tough topics with students including drug addiction, the impacts of distracted driving and preparing for life after high school. The event was organized by members of the Leadership/Key Club with assistance from adviser Allison Goodman.
Jacy Good, a young woman who was nearly killed in a head-on collision that took the life of her parents at the hands of a distracted driver, was keynote speaker for the event. Good painstakingly recounted the tragic day, imploring students to act responsibly when driving and presented scientific data showing how talking, even while on a hands-free device, when driving significantly impairs a driver’s ability. Good, who was left with partial paralysis on the left side of her body, spearheaded the organization Hang Up and Drive, which has fought for tougher penalties for distracted driving as well as promoting the importance of putting away the phone when driving.
Lynbrook High alum Ben Strauss gave a firsthand account of his battle with substance abuse, which began during college. Strauss, a 2009 graduate, was a standout lacrosse player. His sister, senior Casey Strauss, invited him to speak because she believed his age and alumni status would be something to which students could relate. Strauss, now one year sober, said he hopes his tale can help other students who may be headed down a similar path.
There were a total of 15 speakers, including Board of Education member William Belmont, who addressed students about the challenges of life after school and Larry Glenz, a former Lynbrook teacher and lacrosse coach who lost his son Kevin to heroin addiction.
As part of the day’s activities, students and staff were welcomed into the cafeteria to feast on international foods for the PTA’s multicultural luncheon.
Members of the Leadership/Key Club work on events throughout the year, including school blood drives, food and toy drives, homecoming festivities and fundraising.