Students tell parents’ story to inspire positive decision making

| April 28, 2016
Video: Matt Hartmeyer, Prom Promise advisor at CHS, is pictured taking a group photo of everyone who helped film a video to encourage students to make positive decisions. The video was inspired by a 1990 accident that killed Bobby Baird who graduated in 1986. The other three people in the car with him have children who are classmates at CHS. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

Video: Matt Hartmeyer, Prom Promise advisor at CHS, is pictured taking a group photo of everyone who helped film a video to encourage students to make positive decisions. The video was inspired by a 1990 accident that killed Bobby Baird who graduated in 1986. The other three people in the car with him have children who are classmates at CHS. Beacon photo by Josie Sellers

COSHOCTON – Brent Mason said he thinks about June 22, 1990 almost every day of the year.

On that day in 1990 he and his friends Kelly Alverson, Shelley Batchelor and Bobby Baird were hit head on by a drunk driver. They were all in their early 20s and on their way to Zanesville for dinner and a movie on a Friday night. Unfortunately they didn’t all make it home.

Mason, Alverson and Batchelor survived the crash, but Baird and the driver of the other vehicle did not.

“It definitely taught us a lesson that life is short and precious,” Batchelor said.

Today, their children Mykahia Alverson, Ben Batchelor and Andrew Mason are hoping their parents’ story teaches students at Coshocton High School a lesson.

Mykahia, Ben and Andrew are part of the Prom Promise committee at CHS and came up with the idea to share their parents’ story to show how one wrong decision can impact so many lives.

“My mom has told me the story before and it’s made me see life differently because she almost didn’t make it,” Mykahia said.

Matt Hartmeyer, who is the advisor for CHS’s Prom Promise Committee, said the video will be shown at a school assembly and Kelly, Shelley and Brent donated memorabilia that will be on display at the school the week of prom, which is Saturday, May 7.

“We want to inspire the students to make good decisions prom night and every night,” Hartmeyer said.

Brent, Kelly and Shelley were each in the part of the video filmed at Stewart Field, where the victory bell is that honors Baird who wore number 16 for the Redskins and graduated in 1986.

“The video also shows what you should and shouldn’t do and in one part we have a cop pulling up to car and talking to students,” Andrew said.

Brent was pretty sure Baird was smiling down on them while they filmed the video at Stewart Field and Shelley plans to make sure his parents see it.

“When Ben texted me and asked if I thought it would be ok it took my breath away,” Shelley said. “I contacted Bobby’s parents and they were 100 percent in support of what the kids wanted to do and hope it makes an impact on their friends. You hear stuff on TV, but you don’t think it will happen to you, but with this a lot of kids around here know us and it will hit home with them.”

That’s exactly what Ben hopes it does.

“You don’t think being in a drunk driving accident could happen to you, but it happened to our parents and it could happen to any of us,” he said.

Shelley said she Kelly and Brent couldn’t be more proud of their kids for coming up with the idea for this video.

“They have all grown up hearing about this tragic accident and how important Bobby was in our lives,” Shelley said. “It’s so ironic that the three of us would all have children the same ages who have ended up being great friends, and that they would end up on this committee together and create this idea for their Prom Promise video. We know now that it really has had a huge impact on them and hopefully them sharing this story in this way will impact many of their friends so that we can keep tragedy from happening to any of them. Twenty-five years later Bobby is still on our minds daily and he continues to have an impact on the lives of so many.”

[email protected]

Tags: , ,

Category: Education, Multimedia, Photo Galleries

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

Comments are closed.