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At WJ, a Chilling Reminder During Homecoming Week

A crashed car in front of the high school is a visual warning against drinking and driving.

Homecoming Week is a time of celebration for many county high schools, and Walter Johnson is no exception.

Spirit Week is in full swing at WJ, and the festivities will culminate with a homecoming football game against Winston Churchill High School Friday and a homecoming dance Saturday. This week, classes are decorating their hallways to coincide with the "Dance Through the Decades" homecoming theme.

But parents and administrators also want to remind students to make responsible decisions during the festive time of year, according to Shelly McGill, WJ PTSA health and safety committee chairwoman.

A crashed car is once again stationed in front of the school -- as it has been for the past several years during homecoming and prom -- to remind students of the dangers of drinking and driving.

“Even though it’s a great time of year – it’s homecoming, it’s exciting, it’s fun – we want kids to remember to be safe, not to drink and drive, and never get in a car with someone who has been drinking,” McGill said.

The car, which acts as a "visual reminder," will be removed next week and return during prom season, McGill said.

The PTSA is also reminding parents about starting conversations with their children about drinking and driving, McGill said, and directing them to the Mothers Against Drunk Driving website.

Last year during Spirit Week, another Bethesda high school – Bethesda-Chevy Chase – made headlines when students were cited for fighting and drinking during Spirit Week. Administrators there have since banned “Color Day” in an effort to make homecoming week safer at the school.

So far, no incidents have been reported at WJ, McGill said.

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