GILBERT — The Strong Through Our Plan (STOP) Coalition and the Mingo Central High School chapter of Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) held a sign dedication ceremony Thursday in memory of Tyler Hatfield, a classmate who died after a car accident last May.
Designed by SADD students, the sign features Mingo Central’s colors and the phrase “Seat Belts Save Lives,” encompassed in a star, which symbolizes the single star seen in the sky during a candlelight vigil held for Tyler last year.
Members of Tyler’s family, including his parents, Patty and Mike Hatfield, as well as SADD chapter members and STOP staff, attended the ceremony.
“We are extremely proud of our SADD students and the work they do,” Josh Murphy, assistant director of STOP, said. “The chapter has done great work in raising awareness about issues that affect teen’s lives. Sherry Gross, STOP employee and facilitator of the chapter, as well as our entire organization, feel privileged to be able to work with the students, their sponsor Debbie Butcher, and Mingo Central High School.”
SADD purchased the sign after winning a statewide contest among West Virginia’s SADD chapters for a seat belt safety campaign. The frame was made by the school’s wood shop students and a plaque was donated by Pam Surber, of Gilbert.
The chapter also remembered Tyler in a t-shirt they designed for all Mingo County students attending prom this year. The shirt features Tyler’s Gilbert High School football number in the design as well as the aforementioned stars.
For more information about Students Against Destructive Decisions chapters in West Virginia, visit www.wvsadd.org. For more information about STOP, visit www.drugfreemingo.org.