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View Full Version : This is what they taught my teen today



Little Red Barn
11-15-2007, 05:21 AM
Today, my 16 yr. old daughter's school was surrounded by EMTs, police, fire departments: A helicopter hovered above the campus grounds. The coroner came, then the hearse.

There was a car crash on campus. Drunk drivers. Three critically injured 16 yr.old girls, all drinking, with one dead at the scene. One non-injured. They rushed the critically injured away in ambulances. The non-injured, the one who was driving drunk was handcuffed and arrested at the scene. The last was released by the fire dept. using the jaws of life, then put in a body bag and taken away in a hearst. All students and teachers were watching/crying.

Here's the lesson: This was an elaborate, very expensive mock set-up, only done every few years due to cost. Here's what happens now to teach the girls. Tonite one girl--the drunk driver will spend her nite in an actual jail. The three critically injured will actually spend their night in an intensive care hospital, and the baby girl in the body bag was actually taken to the morgue, via hearst and will spend the night alone without cell or anyone: she's dead and she needs to feel the deadness.

The seniors all volunteered and participated, wore fake blood, some of the students watching actually started fainting, one had a seizure...Seven were actually taken to hospital due to the intensity of this lesson.
Tommorow morn, parents will actually come and give their daughters' eulogy. The crashed car will remain on campus for two weeks.

I am thankful for this powerful emotional lesson, so grateful.

JLCwrites
11-15-2007, 05:25 AM
Wow... Quite a wake-up call. Did they do this just before homecoming? Also, how did they pick which ones would be involved?

sunna
11-15-2007, 05:26 AM
Wow. We sure could have used that when I was in high school.

Don Allen
11-15-2007, 05:28 AM
I like the realism, but i 'am reminded of the case where to teach a teenage girl a lesson for a petty theft a judge put her jail for a night where she was promptly raped by a night guard. I know it's not the s same thing,,,, for some reason it just popped into my head,,,, sorry....

ajkjd01
11-15-2007, 05:40 AM
You know, I remember watching a mock-up like that when I was in high school. They used to do them every year. It was effective.

The only thing more effective are the pictures from real live accidents like that. Here's a thought; if you're a parent and your child's school isn't going to host something like that, call your local prosecutor's office, police department, or courts building and ask if there's a trial coming up on a serious DUI accident. Find out the details of the accident and if there will be pictures shown in court. Escort your child there and sit in the public gallery to watch not just the trial, and the pictures, but the testimony of the people affected, and the outcomes against the people who are at fault.

When I say child, I don't mean a young kid, but the ones who would be of appropriate age to watch such a mock-up demonstration. Escort your kid to answer their questions. And if you've called ahead, you might be able to get a few minutes to talk with the cop, the judge, or the prosecutor, where you or your child might be able to ask questions during a break or at the end of the day. As long as you're polite and ask ahead of time, they'll be able to tell you a good time to watch as well as a good time for questions.

kristie911
11-15-2007, 05:45 AM
The local schools do this every year here too...just before prom in the spring. They don't get quite as elaborate, the driver is arrested and they do the fake blood but they don't actually do the follow-up stuff overnight. Interesting twist though...

JoeEkaitis
11-15-2007, 05:46 AM
Young drunk drivers in some towns have to work the night shift in a morgue. If that don't scare you dry . . .

jannawrites
11-15-2007, 05:53 AM
Our high school did the same thing a little over a decade ago. The mock accident drove the point home for some but, sadly, didn't make a difference to others, especially regarding things other than drunk driving. We lost two dear friends to hill-jumping senior year, when they drove an estimated 90mph through a residential neighborhood and hit a parked truck after cresting the hill. Still gives me chills. If only there was some way to insure the students would truly learn the lesson, no matter their circumstance behind the wheel.

Sorry to be a downer.

Devil Ledbetter
11-15-2007, 05:59 AM
One local school here parks on its lawn whatever vehicle is wrecked by a drunken student.

We didn't have staged stuff like this when I was in high school. However, when I was 15 my dad took my best friend and I to an impound lot to see a Camaro that some teens had crashed and died in the previous night. We'd actually heard the tires squealing as they raced around the area. I will never forget the blood still on the seats, the hair stuck to the dashboard, the twin spiderwebs in the windshield.

It was an eye-opener.

Another one that impressed me was a Toronado that had hit a train. The engine peeled through the dashboard and landed on the front seat. If your local school doesn't stage these dramatizations, take your teens to see some wrecked cars.

MacAllister
11-15-2007, 06:05 AM
I had a friend who got busted DWI when I was in high school. He had to ride on ambulance calls for the rest of the year, for car wrecks. The second week, he was sent to walk the shoulder of the road looking for an arm (the driver had gone through the windshield.)

It made him a believer.

KTC
11-15-2007, 06:16 AM
That is the absolute best lesson I've ever heard of Kimmi. Wow...kudos to whoever dreamt that up. It's a wonderful idea. I hope it scares the truth of the grim reality into not only those participating but all the other students as well. Great idea. A highschool friend of mine died in a drinking and driving crash...passenger in a car whose driver was drunk. My friend was in the backseat and ejected. (he wasn't supposed to be there. he was going to sleep over at the 'party house'...he was actually sleeping. But somebody carried him into the car and laid him across the backseat to take him home...not knowing that arrangements were made for him to stay at the house. Yes...he was passed out drunk on the couch...but he did the right thing by pulling up a couch. The person who accidentally carried him into the car died as well.)

Anyway...enough about that...I'm just always glad when I hear about young kids being taught the seriousness of drunk driving. I know it kills.

benbradley
11-15-2007, 06:26 AM
Today, my 16 yr. old daughter's school was surrounded by EMTs, police, fire departments: A helicopter hovered above the campus grounds. The coroner came, then the hearse.
...
I am thankful for this powerful emotional lesson, so grateful.

I can see that everyone wants to impress upon teens the dangers of drunk driving in the most vivid, powerful ways possible (I've several times seen a wrecked car on high school property next to a major road with a big sign that says something like "Don't drive drunk."), and this "surely" most do so, but I feel compelled to ask the impertinent question: What are the rates of drunk driving arrests for the students who experienced this mock horror compared to other students who didn't?

It may take several years and hundreds, perhaps thousands of students going through such a program to get a statistically significant answer, but if one is going to go through the trouble to put on the program, I think there should be some independent study to see what the final result is. We all want to think it would substantially reduce drunk driving among such teens, not just during their teen years but during most younger people's "party years" into their mid 20's or so, but from the results of other such 'educational' programs I have my doubts.

There was the "Scared Straight" program of taking juvenile offendors to visit hard-core prisons where the prisoners told what awaited them if they kept up a life of crime, but it was shown to have virtually no effect on the kids' later arrest records. A quick google brings up this info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scared_Straight!
http://ann.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/589/1/41

Chumplet
11-15-2007, 06:39 AM
That was wonderfully written, Kimmi. You had me believing the tragedy was real, and I hope the message was driven home. Your kid's school did a bang-up job (pardon the pun).

Devil Ledbetter
11-15-2007, 06:45 AM
Yes, drunken driving is deadly. But two kids in my high school died from drinking and neither was in a car. One was walking in the street, drunk, and was hit by a car, thrown against a tree and killed instantly. He was 15. The other got drunk at a party, got a safe ride home, got walked to his back door, let himself in and fell down the basement stairs. He sustained a massive head injury. The failure of the ensuing emergency operation was attributed to his high blood alcohol content. He was 10 weeks from graduating.

There is always so much focus on don't drink and drive. But drinking is unsafe for teens, period. Driving just makes the danger exponentially worse.

Little Red Barn
11-15-2007, 06:49 AM
That is the absolute best lesson I've ever heard of Kimmi. Wow...kudos to whoever dreamt that up. It's a wonderful idea. I hope it scares the truth of the grim reality into not only those participating but all the other students as well. Great idea. A highschool friend of mine died in a drinking and driving crash...passenger in a car whose driver was drunk. My friend was in the backseat and ejected. (he wasn't supposed to be there. he was going to sleep over at the 'party house'...he was actually sleeping. But somebody carried him into the car and laid him across the backseat to take him home...not knowing that arrangements were made for him to stay at the house. Yes...he was passed out drunk on the couch...but he did the right thing by pulling up a couch. The person who accidentally carried him into the car died as well.)

Anyway...enough about that...I'm just always glad when I hear about young kids being taught the seriousness of drunk driving. I know it kills.
Thank you Kev and to all above for sharing your stories as well.

Today was an extremely trying day, but I do not wish to derail, so that said, as soon as I saw Sierra's face and her changing expressions as she recounted the day's event, I felt so very grateful--thanked above for my insignificnt problems and then said a thanks to all the professionals that took the time and monies to make this happen. More importantly, it was the look my daughter gave me--the look that said, "Mom I never wanna end up like that."

jannawrites
11-15-2007, 06:53 AM
There is always so much focus on don't drink and drive. But drinking is unsafe for teens, period. Driving just makes the danger exponentially worse.

I couldn't agree more, Devil. Thanks for putting it into words.




Today was an extremely trying day, but I do not wish to derail, so that said, as soon as I saw Sierra's face and her changing expressions as she recounted the day's event, I felt so very grateful--thanked above for my insignificnt problems and then said a thanks to all the professionals that took the time and monies to make this happen. More importantly, it was the look my daughter gave me--the look that said, "Mom I never wanna end up like that."

Amen.

sanssouci
11-15-2007, 06:55 AM
I can see that everyone wants to impress upon teens the dangers of drunk driving in the most vivid, powerful ways possible (I've several times seen a wrecked car on high school property next to a major road with a big sign that says something like "Don't drive drunk."), and this "surely" most do so, but I feel compelled to ask the impertinent question: What are the rates of drunk driving arrests for the students who experienced this mock horror compared to other students who didn't?

It may take several years and hundreds, perhaps thousands of students going through such a program to get a statistically significant answer, but if one is going to go through the trouble to put on the program, I think there should be some independent study to see what the final result is. We all want to think it would substantially reduce drunk driving among such teens, not just during their teen years but during most younger people's "party years" into their mid 20's or so, but from the results of other such 'educational' programs I have my doubts.

There was the "Scared Straight" program of taking juvenile offendors to visit hard-core prisons where the prisoners told what awaited them if they kept up a life of crime, but it was shown to have virtually no effect on the kids' later arrest records. A quick google brings up this info:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scared_Straight!
http://ann.sagepub.com/cgi/content/abstract/589/1/41


I agree. Where's the proof that these scare tactics have ever been effective?

I think the kids that do get "scared straight" are the ones who wouldn't drive drunk in the first place. A lot of teens who binge drink have emotional and mental issues that won't be scared away by a morbid demonstration.

Shadow_Ferret
11-15-2007, 07:24 AM
I often wonder how valuable these lessons really are. The ones who learn the lessons are the ones who probably never would have done it in the first place.

The ones who they really need to get through to will think its all a joke and something that will "never happen to me."

kikazaru
11-15-2007, 09:33 AM
I think that there will always be a percentage of the population who believes that "it will never happen to me" for any scenerio but I think that something that is illustrated so vividly does have an effect.

A. Hamilton
11-15-2007, 09:49 AM
They've done this at my kids' high school as well, and it made an effective impact on them.

Before he would agree to teach my brothers and I to drive, my Dad would make us sit in and observe a day of traffic court.

akiwiguy
11-15-2007, 10:01 AM
There's a certain controversial site that shall remain nameless... the one with grizzly autopsy photos etc which can be quite grotsquely fascinating... I remember seeing a photograph basically entitled "What happens when you crash your Ferrari at 200+ kph". It is a very grizzly photo of a crash in Monaco, and despite the graphic details was published on the front page of their newspaper to discourage a growing trend of speeding there.

tlblack
11-15-2007, 10:16 AM
Having dealt with alcoholics my whole life, I think it's a great thing that schools have become involved in giving students realistic views on what can happen, and so often does, by driving drunk. The school I graduated from shows videos of actual car accidents involving drunk, as well as driver's high on drugs. Those were big eye openers for some, but there were still some that went out and drove UTI anyway. It won't stop all of them, but if it stops just some of them, a lot of lives will be spared senseless deaths.

Shwebb
11-15-2007, 11:04 PM
Our local volunteer fire department and rescue squad do the same sort of thing every other year for the two high schools in our area. No helicopters, but otherwise the sheriff's department, highway patrol, and the local funeral home all get involved. And of course, the students who participate in the mock accident.

I'll never forget the one I was involved with as an EMT. The students participating were chillingly authentic in their acting. One of them kept screaming things like, "Oh my God! He's dead! He can't be dead!" And then screaming his name over and over. Once in a while you get snickers from the smarmy, know-it-all kids, but not on this one.

We've had kids send the squad and fire department thank you letters, telling them that the demonstration made a difference for them. If it saves just one person, isn't it worth it?

Shadow_Ferret
11-15-2007, 11:07 PM
If it saves just one person, isn't it worth it?
But how is something like that quantified?

DonnaDuck
11-16-2007, 12:00 AM
I've heard of these being done. I never saw one as realistic as that but I've seen videos and the like. I think things like that have an impact but it's fleeting. I think it'll only hit home if it happens to someone that's close to them and even then it's no guarantee. Older people, yes, it would have an effect but I really don't think that a teenage brain thinks like that, for many. There are some that see the brevity in such a situation and realize that it can happen to them but I think many more don't.

Where I live we had a very deadly summer when it came to teenage accidents and only 1 involved drinking. That one he plowed into a house and killed his passenger. The parents of that passenger also lost a son to a drug overdose a few months prior. The driver of that car enlisted himself in the military in order to escape prosecution and the death threats he was receiving from the family (they're of a rather intimidating breed, to say the very least). The oldest in that car was only 19. The second a driver was driving three other people home from a party, driving 110 on a residential street. He rounded a bend and was purposely on the wrong side of the road and ended up headlong into an SUV (they were in a little Subaru racer thing, RXG or something like that), bounced off of the SUV and disintegrated into a telephone pole. All four of them died instantly. The oldest was 19, the youngest 16. The last one was at the start of the school year, speeding with two passengers on the way to school. They lost control and crashed, killing all three. Then a knob 20 year old was caught doing 100 in a residental area driving hom from the funeral of those last three and then was on the news saying he felt targeted. While real dead teenagers I think has some effect, it obviously does nothing for others. Now the state of Connecticut is in the process of reforming their teenage driving laws. They just changed them a few years ago, now they're considering upping the age of actually getting a license to 18.

Statistically, the chances of dying in a car accident between the ages of 16 and 21 are astronomical. Actually, I believe it's the number one way teenagers die, is in car accidents. Many other countries have driving ages set at 18. Perhaps we should too, cut down on the risks of death a little bit.

maestrowork
11-16-2007, 12:22 AM
Sounds like fun -- of course, with parental consent (can't imagine the complaints the school will get if they do that impromptu). My local school does something like that every few years as well. I bet the "dead girl" would be the one scared the most -- I mean, NO CELL for the night! Oh, and the morgue, too.

Years ago I was hit by a drunk driver and her drunk girlfriend (the driver was 22 and the other 17) while they made an illegal U-turn. Good thing nobody got injured but it could have been worse. According to the cops, the driver's blood alcohol level was off the chart, and the teenage girl wasn't that much more sober either. Worse, the driver insisted that she hadn't drunk. So she was in seriously trouble; she went to jail that night.

nerds
11-16-2007, 12:54 AM
It probably isn't quantifiable/provable, but I think all the preventative efforts cited in this thread do have at least some effect on all but the most defiant of personalities. The wrecks on the high school lawn did make an impression on myself and my friends.

And there's nothing like seeing the real deal. Several years ago my son saw two drag racing teens wreck up on a residential street and it was enough to make him permanently careful.

Good point that was made about the hazards of drinking without motor vehicles, too. Drinking and swimming is another one. My class lost two of its members right after graduation to separate incidents of drunken swimming/drowning. Every beginning-of-summer seems to bring so many of these disasters.

Now, if they'd also get to work on texting while driving. That is insanity.

Voyager
11-16-2007, 01:02 AM
They did this at my daughter's high school yesterday as well. I'm not sure why, but the freshman and sophomore classes were not allowed to attend. If it was because there wasn't enough time and space, I can understand that, but I hope it wasn't because of their age. We had a couple of drunk 14-year olds steal a car from a grocery store parking lot and wrap it around a tree behind our house. One killed, one paralyzed from the neck down. I don't think 14 is too young.

maestrowork
11-16-2007, 01:05 AM
I think the idea is that 14yos aren't supposed to drive anyway. Those who go out and steal a car or drive mom's off the driveway are not going to listen anyway. Kind of like do you teach sex ed to 10yos, even if some already are having sex with each other...