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Scared straight or just dumb?

What happened to the days when schools just taught the 3 R's? From the San Francisco Chronicle-

On a Monday morning last month, California Highway Patrol officers visited 20 classrooms at El Camino High School to announce some horrible news: 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, with several dozen students' participation, to dramatize the consequences of drinking and driving.

As seniors prepare for graduation parties today, school officials in the largely prosperous San Diego suburb are defending themselves against allegations they went too far.

At assemblies where speakers talked about the dangers of drunken driving, some students held posters that read: "Death is real. Don't play with our emotions."

El Camino isn't the first school to do such a stunt.

The stunt was a twist on a program called Every 15 Minutes, which was designed in the early 1990s, when alcohol-related accidents killed someone an average of once every 15 minutes. By 2006, the frequency dropped to once every 39 minutes, according to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, which is not associated with the program.


In 2002, a high school in Eagle Grove, Iowa, north of Des Moines, used a hoax death to "step up" the program, said Mark Kay. His son, Aaron, dropped out of sight after school, while his brother messaged friends asking if they'd seen him. The next morning, students were invited to view a coffin in the school foyer where the boy was playing dead.

Oceanside schools Superintendent Larry Perondi said he fielded only a few calls from parents, while the PTA chapter said it had not heard any complaints.

One could say schools aren't just meant to teach children how to read, write, and add, but also to prepare them for life as adults. DUI is both dangerous and often deadly, but I think most people including teenagers realize that already. The problem lays in a person not knowing their own limitations and fully recognizing the risk to themselves and others.

One disturbing bit of the story

"They were traumatized, but we wanted them to be traumatized," said guidance counselor Lori Tauber. "That's how they get the message."
I think most parents send their children to school to be educated in a non-sadistic fashion. Being thirty years removed from high school and with no living children, maybe I'm just of touch with what schools do today.

Hat tip- Joanne Jacobs


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Comments (14)

Gee, maybe next they can st... (Below threshold)

Gee, maybe next they can stage a fake mass murderer's spree to educate students, faculty and staff how to not violate the perpetrators rights as they die?

Geez, and people wonder why... (Below threshold)

Geez, and people wonder why home schooling is on the rise!

We had a teacher at our hig... (Below threshold)

We had a teacher at our high school who was confined to a wheel chair. When some of the student drivers became noticeably reckless the entire school was summoned to the gym. After a long wait Mr. Quinn wheeled in and told the crowd why he was in a wheelchair, and how he was the only survivor of the automobile accident. It was traumatic for many of the careless drivers also, but the difference is it wasn't a lie.

The program must've been de... (Below threshold)
Jeff Blogworthy:

The program must've been designed by a Democrat. Message: Lying is admirable as long as your intentions are good.

The paper had a major artic... (Below threshold)
GarandFan Author Profile Page:

The paper had a major article this morning about why the staff at El Camino High (local school) thought the idea was good. The word "intentions" was floated heavily. Just goes to prove that educators can do stupid things just like anyone else. But then, "educators" and "stupid" go hand in hand in Kalifornia schools today.

When I lived in CA and was ... (Below threshold)

When I lived in CA and was active in the PTA, putting on programs about the dangers of alcohol fell on me. We were aware of the program that was put on at this school, but chose not to do it. Instead, we had a wrecked car brought on campus and we had students "enact" a scene where teens chose to drink and drive. The kids wrote and performed.

The most meaningful program we put on was a true life story where the boy who had been in the accident (and who was pretty messed up for life) came and told his story.

It's a fine line to toe here. As a parent, you want to make sure that your child is aware of the dangers. We were grateful the school allowed us the time to reach a maximum number of kids.

Of course, the kids did lea... (Below threshold)

Of course, the kids did learn the valuable lesson "teachers and police officers will lie to you at the drop of a hat."

Does anyone really expect a... (Below threshold)
Piso Mojado:

Does anyone really expect anything different from California Indoctrination Centers, oops, I mean schools.

Wonder what the reasoning a... (Below threshold)

Wonder what the reasoning and outcry would be if instead of the students dying from the actions of a drunk driver, they were killed at a stopped bus by an islamic terrorist suicide bomber..

This story also made <a hre... (Below threshold)

This story also made http://detentionslip.org! It's got tons of crazy headlines like this from our schools.

The best part of this lesso... (Below threshold)

The best part of this lesson is that no one really dies from drunk driving, it is just a hoax that all the adults are in on, and tomorrow your dead friend will be right back in class with you.

What happened to the day... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

What happened to the days when schools just taught the 3 R's?

They still are taught: Revisionism, Radical Ideology, and Reproductive Studies.

One could say schools ar... (Below threshold)
James Cloninger:

One could say schools aren't just meant to teach children how to read, write, and add, but also to prepare them for life as adults.

Gee, how about the students turn around and teach the administration a thing or two about life as adults...say a class action suit for emotional distress.

"Gee, maybe next they can s... (Below threshold)

"Gee, maybe next they can stage a fake mass murderer's spree to educate students, faculty and staff"

Epador, they've already done that back in February:
"An armed man who burst into a classroom at Elizabeth City State University was role-playing in an emergency response drill, but neither the students nor assistant professor Jingbin Wang knew that."







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