For some high school students living in Wisconsin, a driver’s education tactic used by their school to warn about the dangers of drunk driving went a step too far, the Brodhead NBC affiliate reported.
At Brodhead High School, a safe driving drill involved a morning announcement that four of their classmates had been killed in a car accident. About ten minutes later, there was another announcement from the student council clarifying that the death of the students was just part of a safety exercise and that the four students were, in fact, unharmed.
As part of the drill, the classmates who were supposed to be “dead” had agreed beforehand to not use their cellphones during the ten-minute scare.
The student council thought that panicking the students into believing that their classmates were gone as part of a simulation exercise would teach them a safety lesson about driving. But, several of the students voiced counter-arguments to the drill, which was emotionally triggering for some.
Student Madison Trombley reportedly said, “A lot of our fellow friends and students actually started crying because they thought these people were actually dead and so I think a lot of them actually called their parents in school, too.”
The district superintendent allegedly said that the drill was not meant to “scare” students, but some parents called the school with angry complaints about the thoughtlessness of the drill.
Another student, Sam Bolen, explained why he thought the exercise wasn’t effective. “They were trying to teach using scare tactics which doesn’t teach it just makes you not trust the teachers and any of the announcements you’re going to get,” he said.
However, it’s likely that students becoming upset over the drill was its very purpose. Or, at least, that’s what student council member Miranda Ryser stated in a Facebook post defending the simulation, according to The Washington Post. She wrote, “People die on the daily basis and it happens. Touchy subject or not it happens and it shows that it can happen unexpectedly.”
Simulating the deaths of teenagers seems like a rather cold-hearted approach, considering how tragic the loss of young people is. Scare tactics aside, surely there are more productive ways to teach student drivers about the dangers of distractions and substance abuse while driving.
Banner photo: Twitter, @nbc15_madison