Melania Made Surprise Appearance To Support American Teenagers Not Driving Impaired

REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque

Nicole Russell Contributor
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First lady Melania Trump made a surprise appearance at the Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) annual conference this weekend.

This marked her first public appearance since she visited children in an immigrant detention center and was lambasted for wearing a green jacket that read on the back, “I Really Dont Care. Do U?” (In case anyone needed to know, InStyle reported “[Melania] wore a crisp white shirt with a collar popped in an aristocratic fashion, and styled it with a high-waisted pencil skirt and white Christian Louboutin stiletto heels” to the event.)

SADD aims to educate and inspire teenagers to make better decisions, particularly urging them to say no to texting while driving and doing drugs. In her remarks, Melania called the conference and the organization “inspiring” and promoted it alongside her “Be Best” campaign, which she unveiled several weeks ago. Melania not only spoke at the event, but took the time to get to know some of the student members of SADD who represent their peers from around the country. She featured a short video clip of the event on her Instagram.

“Kindness, compassion, and positivity are very important traits in life,” Trump said, according to InStyle. “It is far easier to say nothing than it is to speak words of kindness. It is easier to judge quickly than to take time to understand. It is often easier to see a glass half-empty than half full.”

On Tuesday, SADD held a congressional briefing about teens who drive drug-impaired. Statistics show teen drivers crash at three times the rate of those of drivers age 20 and older. In 2016, the number of young drivers 16 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes increased by 3.6 percent. A 2017 SADD survey showed 33 percent of teens think it is legal to use marijuana and drive in states where marijuana is legal and 22 percent of teens admit that using marijuana and driving is commonplace amongst their friends. There are approximately 40 million teenagers in the United States, which means these statistics apply to about 13 million teens.

During their conference, SADD encouraged Congress to provide the laws and funding to address this issue in a more effective and efficient manner, including establishing a zero-tolerance law for all drugs, including marijuana, for drivers under the age of 21, and providing law enforcement with tools and training to detect drug-impaired drivers, among other things.

While SADD’s message is life-saving, and Melania’s appearance at the event was a pleasant surprise to many — dressed to the nines and all — the media has continued to focus on her clothing at an immigrant child detention center, rather than her participation in an epidemic affecting millions of America’s teenagers.