Is this right? School defends drunken driving hoax

Is this right? School defends drunken driving hoax

This is a discussion on Is this right? School defends drunken driving hoax within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; School defends drunken driving hoax - CNN.com OCEANSIDE, California (AP) -- On a Monday morning last month, highway patrol officers visited 20 classrooms at El ...

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Thread: Is this right? School defends drunken driving hoax

  1. #1
    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    Is this right? School defends drunken driving hoax

    School defends drunken driving hoax - CNN.com

    OCEANSIDE, California (AP) -- 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.

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

    At school assemblies, some students held 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 that it was all staged.

    "People started yelling at the teacher," she said. "It was pretty hectic."

    Others, including many who heard the news of the 26 deaths between classes, were left in the dark until the missing students reappeared hours later.

    "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 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 plan was to tell the truth to the students at an assembly later in the day. But word that it was all a hoax began to spread before the gathering. Tauber said some counselors and administrators revealed the truth to calm some students who had become upset.

    Oceanside Schools Superintendent Larry Perondi said he fielded only a few calls from parents, and the PTA chapter said it had not heard any complaints. Perondi said the program would be revised, but he would not say how. And he said he was glad that students seemed to have gotten the message.

    "We did this in earnest," he said. "This was not done to be a prankster."
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
    -- Benjamin Franklin


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array dukalmighty's Avatar
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    "We did this in earnest," he said. "This was not done to be a prankster."
    In other words we really meant to scare these kids on purpose,I guess to teach them about the dangers of firearms they will tell them a bunch of their friends were killed by a crazed gunman and then a few hours later yell april fools
    I wonder how many counselors will be needed to deal with the aftermath of the shock of thinking classmates were killed.
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  3. #3
    VIP Member Array deadeye72's Avatar
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    What morons. With all the crap teenagers already deal with, they don't need this crap from the school officials.
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    We used to do a similar program with the police in our high schools.

    We didn't take it to that level, though.

    Our "dead" students were made up in grey face paint and went to class with a sign explaining how they "died".

    We also did an extraction demo in the school parking lot. One year, they had students playing the accident victims as well as the "drunk" who hit them, and we had camera crews following us as we extricated and packaged the patient and took them to the ER, then the ER did a bit of working on them before pronouncing death, then the "family" was videoed being told their son/daughter was dead.

    Separately, a video crew followed the "drunk" as he was arrested, cuffed and taken to the station and processed in.

    A local video shop put the thing together and they showed it at the school. Very well done.

    I think this program, where they mislead children into thinking their friends were actually dead, went too far.

    Given where it is, there will probably be a class-action lawsuit, 10,000 counsellors, and a guest spot on Dr. Phil......

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    VIP Member Array JonInNY's Avatar
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    It seems to me, that this just condones lying. It's saying to our students, that it's ok to do this sort of thing when you get older. I think it sets a very bad example of adult behaviour.

    Much better idea would be to get victims of DWI incidents to come to classrooms, and tell their story. I would be more impressed with that.
    "Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch; Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
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    If it saves lives it's a good idea.So what if a few kids cry, that's why they call it scared straight.
    It is surely true that you can lead a horse to water but you can't make them drink. Nor can you make them grateful for your efforts.

  7. #7
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    Perhaps a similar scenario should be done on the school admin who approved this? Tell em a family member is dead and see how they react.
    "In matters of style, swim with the current; in matters of principle, stand like a rock." Thomas Jefferson


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  8. #8
    Senior Member Array Roadrunner's Avatar
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    Way too far and extremely irresponsible of the district.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Went too far.... watch the law suits for "mental cruelty and anguish"... and they'll win.

    The paper once mixed 2 accidents, and they reported I was killed.... two friends of mine had a blast the next day going around showing everyone the morning paper and that I had died. How I found out, a lot of kids started calling my house and telling my mother how sorry they were that I had died.

    She was like "huh? "... he's right in the other room in a bed, he's injured, but he's not dead.

    The next day was when the school nearly had to stop the lynching they were going to have for these two friends.

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    Senior Member Array Holdcard's Avatar
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    Unintended consequences.

    I think one of the things they wound up teaching the kids is that school officials as well as law enforcement can not always be trusted.

    Having planned and executed this hoax does not build trust or respect. Defending it may tear down any trust the students have left in the system.

    I'm not sure what will have the biggest impact on these students, the "Scared Strait" message, or the fact that they were intentionally lied to. I'm guessing one will be remembered and the other will not.

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    New Member Array Crusty49's Avatar
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    Let's all please think about what we say. "If it saves lives..."

    Sounds positively Bradyish, doesn't it? Not to be too, critical but we really do need to give critical thought to unintended consequences before we approve of any programs such as this.

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    VIP Member Array ExactlyMyPoint's Avatar
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    How about we get a gang of "thugs" to perform a home invasion of one of the board member's house and terrorize them for an hour or so just to show them that the police can't help them they should have a firearm in the house. Then all of a sudden go, "Just kidding" and see what their response is.

    I find it amazing what the "powers that be" will use as an excuse to achieve their purpose or goal. They don't care who they hurt. I thought they were supposed to be sensitive and caring. How do they sleep at night knowing what they did to some of these kids...and just before a very happy event.
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    Right,wrong, whatever.

    Those kids will remember that for the rest of their lives.
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    Restricted Member Array SelfDefense's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exactlymypoint View Post
    How about we get a gang of "thugs" to perform a home invasion of one of the board member's house and terrorize them for an hour or so just to show them that the police can't help them they should have a firearm in the house. Then all of a sudden go, "Just kidding" and see what their response is.
    The difference is that here we are discussing school children and teaching them right and wrong. They are being taught there are consequences for actions and that some behaviors cause life changing and heart wrenching outcomes. I have no problem with the program. When I was young we were shown horrific videos of traffic accidents including all the blood and gore of still live and dead bodies. Thank you Ohio Highway Patrol.

    I find it amazing what the "powers that be" will use as an excuse to achieve their purpose or goal. They don't care who they hurt. I thought they were supposed to be sensitive and caring.
    Sensitive and caring? No! They should be teaching impressionable children. It is easy to dismiss much of the news because it has no real impact on everyday life. This program brings home the real tragedy and, hopefully, makes the children think before they engage in risk behavior.

    How do they sleep at night knowing what they did to some of these kids...and just before a very happy event.
    I'm sure they hope the lesson takes hold and helps these children mature into responsible adults...so they can enjoy very happy events in the future.

  15. #15
    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by exactlymypoint View Post
    How about we get a gang of "thugs" to perform a home invasion of one of the board member's house and terrorize them for an hour or so just to show them that the police can't help them they should have a firearm in the house. Then all of a sudden go, "Just kidding" and see what their response is.
    A person on another forum told of an incident where a guy did that, coming into a party ... with a toy gun...... and the 'host' had hand on gun and was ready to draw down on him & shoot him... and he "fessed up" real quick it was a joke.. apparently scared as hell he just about got shot.

    None of it , is a game... this is real life folks. Everyone who staged this event... ought to be on the unemployment line.

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