On a Monday morning last month, highway patrol officers visited 20 classrooms at El Camino High School to announce some horrible news: Several students had been killed in car wrecks over the weekend.
Classmates wept. Some became hysterical.
A few hours and many tears later, though, the pain turned to fury when the teenagers learned that it was all a hoax _ a scared-straight exercise designed by school officials to dramatize the consequences of drinking and driving.
At school assemblies, some students held up posters that read: “Death is real. Don’t play with our emotions.”
Michelle de Gracia, 16, was in physics class when an officer announced that her missing classmate David, a popular basketball player, had died instantly after being rear-ended by a drunken driver. She said she felt nauseated but was too stunned to cry.
“They got the shock they wanted,” she said.
Some of her classmates became extremely upset, prompting the teacher to tell them immediately it was all staged.
“People started yelling at the teacher,” she said. “It was pretty hectic.”
“You feel betrayed by your teachers and administrators, these people you trust,” said 15-year-old Carolyn Magos. “But then I felt selfish for feeling that way, because, I mean, if it saves one life, it’s worth it.”
Officials at the 3,100-student school officials defended the program.
“They were traumatized, but we wanted them to be traumatized,” said guidance counselor Lori Tauber, who helped organize the shocking exercise and got dozens of students to participate. “That’s how they get the message.”
The new school teaching method- Shock! This ought to be a hoot when they apply this to Algebra!
But it does grate on my nerves when people say “if it saves one life, it’s worth it“.
I disagree! Let’s make the new speed limit 5mph. That’ll save a ton of lives. Sure, it’ll take people in the valley (Wasilla/Palmer) 8 hours or so to get to work here in Anchorage, but hey, it’ll save lives and therefore, be “worth it”!
I could go on with more fun examples but you get the point. Stupid frickin’ school system!