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Floyd County "Teen Maze" Brings Fear to Life

10/31/13 6:00 p.m.

By: Kevin Karel (WRGA News)

Students from Rome High, Darlington School, Unity Christian School and all Floyd County high schools spent time at the annual “Teen Maze” at the Coosa Valley Fairgrounds this week, learning about the consequences of certain choices and how they could change their lives at a young age.

Sponsored by Northwest Georgia Public Health and the Rome-Floyd County Commission on Children and Youth, the maze allowed students to experience a series of major decisions by going station-to-station. Their assigned circumstances ranged from unplanned pregnancy to jail-time to substance abuse and even death from things like AIDS and drunk-driving. Organizers had teens read their own eulogy in front of a casket, a sobering reminder, even on Halloween.

Officer Mechelle Cliatt with the Floyd County Sheriff’s Department worked at the maze in a makeshift “jail” where students had to put on orange prison-issue shirts and stand in a cell. It wasn’t exactly the scared straight program, but Cliatt says fear was certainly a factor;

“We actually also had statistics in what we tell them, for instance, there’s 3,000 teenagers that die each year from drinking-and-driving and we try and make that point come across, that’s it wrong to do and there are detrimental factors involved in it. They do not want to come to jail and we don’t want them to come to jail. We do this as a part of the program to act as a deterrent so that they don’t make bad choices and decisions so they have to come to jail.” 

Students were also able to experience positive scenarios, even if they made an unfortunate choice earlier in the maze.