Around Town | Students Jolted with a Dose of Reality at Every 15 Minutes Program
A simulated fatal crash, the grim reaper and next of kin notifications were just some of the experiences Saugus High School parents, teachers and students had earlier this week.
Every Fifteen Minutes began in 1995 when someone was killed every 15 minutes in a drunk driving related collision.
The two-day program takes months of planning. A major part of the program at Saugus High School involves the Saugus News Network, a team of students who broadcast a morning news show daily.
For the program, the SNN students create a special show, where they announce the walking dead, which is a student or teacher’s death every 15 minutes over the closed circuit network.
While the SNN students are broadcasting their show, California Highway Patrol and Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s officials begin the mock notifications to more than a dozen parents.
The officers and deputies go to the homes and workplaces of the deceased student’s parents.
Officials hope that by delivering a mock notification, it helps bring the impact to the parents and hopefully create an open line of communication
While officers and deputies are notifying the parents, four students who have been chosen to act in a simulated drunk driving crash begin getting makeup.
In the crash, one student is the drunk driver and three students are fatally injured in the simulated collision.
After all of the walking dead students have been taken out of classes, all juniors and seniors are taken out to the front of the school to see the mock drunk driving crash.
Emergency officials respond to the crash and pronounce two students dead at the scene.
One student is taken to the hospital where they are pronounced dead in front of their parents.
The drunk driver is taken to the SCV Sheriff’s station where they are booked and then taken to court.
In the simulated court, they are read the charges against them and the victim’s parents are invited to give a victim impact statement.
The students are then taken to the Youth Grove where they see 92 stumps of real people who were killed in automobile crashes.
The walking dead are then taken to Eternal Valley mortuary where they learn how much a funeral would cost.
They are then taken to the Hyatt Regency where both parents and students are given a debriefing.
But the night isn’t over the SNN students, they stay up all night to edit together a video of the day which plays the next morning at an assembly.
Video and Article by Jessica Boyer(c) SCVTV 2015