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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » High School Drunk Driving Hoax

   
Author Topic: High School Drunk Driving Hoax
pH
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Story here.

quote:
"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."
I can't believe anyone thought this was a good idea. I mean, of course, everyone wants to keep kids from driving drunk, but I think this method was completely unethical and pretty insensitive to the students.

-pH

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dkw
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The school administration needs to review the effectiveness of the boy who cried wolf. Perhaps one of their kindergarten teachers could loan them a copy of the story.
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AvidReader
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I know I want my kids to learn that when the cops bring you bad news they're probably lying. </sarcasm>
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Shigosei
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No kidding. I certainly wouldn't trust things that the school administration or the counselor said after this. I can understand the desire to impress upon students the dangers of drunk driving, but lying to them is a bad idea.

And it'll only work once. Everyone knows about this kind of stunt now, so they can't do it again.

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LargeTuna
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terrible idea! lying is not the answer. if they did that at my school i would have my mommy call the schoolboard [Wink]
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Launchywiggin
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Remembering the rebellious nature of teenagers, I imagine this will have no effect on the teens who would drive drunk anyway.
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BlackBlade
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I'm not sure how I feel about this technique. On the one hand I remember my father using the same technique during Family Night to illustrate the damage lying can cause. We were living overseas and he came home and declared that he had been promoted, gotten a raise and that we was reassigned states side and so we were all moving to Utah. I along with my brothers and sisters started cheering and laughing and my mom burst into tears of joy, (It took her a VERY long time to start liking Asia). I think it was my mother that made my father realize the drawback to his strategy. Upon his revealing that it was all a lie we all felt really angry, and my mom was a complete wreck.

On the one hand we definitely felt the consequences of lying, and I am sure these students in this exercise were genuinely hurt and many probably for now see just how terrible DUI is. But on the other, taking the sheer number of students and their individuality I am not sure this technique is safe for general application.

I'm not hopping mad about this, but I doubt I'd do it as a teacher.

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Juxtapose
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When I was five or so I thought it'd be funny to tell my mom that my sister had been hit by a car outside. I learned and understood why it was a bad idea then. The fact that these people can reach adulthood and not understand it is disheartening.
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Shigosei
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The fact that people can become high school counselors and not realize it is even worse.

There are plenty of horrific, tragic stories about people who've killed or been killed driving drunk. There are tons of videos out there specifically designed for high school classes to have a visceral impact. And they don't involve destroying the credibility of a large percentage of authority figures in the students' lives. (And imagine the potential backlash for the students who were in on it!) So the school principal, counselors, teachers, and police officers are all capable of lying when it suits them. Terrific.

I hate to think what will happen if there really is a death in the student body and nobody believes the administration.

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Rakeesh
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If the effort were effective, I think I would support it to be honest. Some teenagers can be incredibly stupid about that (some adults too).

But I doubt it will be effective. The sort of people I knew in high school likely to drink and drive were the ones who might NOT if one of their friends died...but might even go out of their way to do so out of a prideful defiance against 'the man' here.

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rivka
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>_<

And of COURSE it was a California school. Terrific.

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Bob_Scopatz
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This makes me very sad.

There are some excellent 1-day programs that have been put on in schools that dramatize the effects of drunk driving and make a lasting impression. They set up a crash scene, call the kids' parents to the school...everyone knows it's not real, but they get to experience some of the loss and emotion that goes with this experience and without anyone being lied to.

This tactic sounds like someone wanted to spend as little time and effort as possible and have the biggest possible instant effect. But they didn't think about the backlash that comes from the reaction to learning it was all a sham. Those strong emotions have to go somewhere...and really, something that wouldn't work on adults is going to fail even more strongly with teens.

Think People! If this would piss you off, it's going to make teens hate the air you breathe!

How could they not know this going in?

This just sounds sad.

I hope for their sake they didn't do evaluations and document just what the impact of their little exercise was.

Not only did they screw up THIS event, but I can imagine how difficult a time they will have in the future trying to make a normal, well-designed pitch about driving safety to these kids.

"Yeah...right..."

This is ugly stupid.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Bob_Scopatz:
If this would piss you off, it's going to make teens hate the air you breathe!

Too true.
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Tresopax
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The questions are:

1. Is it effective in curbing drunk driving?
2. Would curbing drunk driving be worth causing some emotional panic in these kids and having authorities lie to them?

I can see how the answers to both questions could be yes, but I doubt it.

In truth, I suspect the students know enough to realize exactly why this was done. I'd guess they were upset at first but are probably mostly no longer angry. But those who are still angry are probably very angry.

However, as for the effectiveness of it, I have doubts. I think teenagers already realize how dangerous drinking and driving is, and already realize how horrible it would be for someone to die. The problem is that, for those that do it, that particular knowledge doesn't stop them. Instead they see their peers and/or adults doing it and assume they should to, that whatever horrible things might happen in theory won't really happen to them.

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RackhamsRazor
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My high school used to set up a mock crash with our students. People would have to go outside to see two cars wrecked with a number of our classmates in the car. They set it up so that the police and ambulances would arrive and have to use the jaws of life to get the kids out. One person was always tested for being drunk, there was always one hysterical person, and one kid always died. They would even cover the one student up and wheel them into the ambulance. I had mixed feelings on whether or not this was effective. I am sure for some, it was. However, you know high school kids and how they can be idiots. Some kids would just stand there and laugh at the whole thing.

Around the same time, our school also put on a day long thing that demonstrated how many kids die every year from drunk driving. I do not remember the statistics, but the "angel of death" would come around to a bunch of classes and remove one student. That student would then come back about an hour later with their face painted white, wearing black clothing, and would not speak for the rest of the day to demonstrate that they had died. It was kinda creepy and weird to see how many students were removed from classes.

Along with the "angel of death" day, the local police department would come by and set up in a lobby with things like their drunk driving goggles to stimulate what it is like to be drunk. They would ask you to put them on and catch a ball or walk a line. It is certainly not easy to do with that level of disorientation. It was to show you that you are not fooling anyone when you are drunk and that you really are mentally damaged when you drink.

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BlackBlade
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I am reminded of my long standing belief that the drinking age should be reduced to 16 and the driving age extended to 18. Of course to make that more feasible, we'd have to greatly increase the alternate forms of transportation available to many Americans.
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RackhamsRazor
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I disagree. How about we just expect more out of our children? How about we expect them to not be stupid and drink underage and complicate it more by driving? Most 16 year olds are not mature enough to handle drinking. Making it legal for them to drink is not going to decrease the amount of drunk-driving related accidents. My bet is that more 16 year olds would drink because it was legal, more kids would be irresponsible, and more kids would die as a result.
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MattP
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The US has the highest drinking age in the world. Most countries have a drinking age of 18 and many have 16. I don't have the stats, but I'd be surprised if our drunk driving rate is near the bottom of the list, rather than the top. I suspect that by forcing the kids who are going to drink to do so secretly because they are not legally permitted to drink we may be promoting even more irresponsible behavior.

I think that if we are going to regulate potentially dangerous behaviors based on age that it makes more sense to set the lower bound at an age when individuals are still likely to have parents around to help guide and moderate that behavior.

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mr_porteiro_head
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quote:
The US has the highest drinking age in the world. Most countries have a drinking age of 18 and many have 16. I don't have the stats, but I'd be surprised if our drunk driving rate is near the bottom of the list, rather than the top.
Part of that would be that our teen driving rate is near the top. I understand that in many European countries it is rare to get a drivers license before the age of 18. All else being equal, when teens don't have as much opportunity to drive, they're not going to drive drunk as much.

Again, all else being equal, less teens driving means less moronic driving behaviors on the road, such as drunk driving.

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Tresopax
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Changing drinking laws is not going to change much either way, simply because they are not enforced enough to convince teenagers who really want to drink that they can't. If we want teenagers to really change their behavior, we have to change our own culture of drinking and the example adults set for teenagers. As long as drinking is so closely connected to having fun in the adult world, particularly the younger adult world, teenagers will get the message and act accordingly. Even if they know it is dangerous, even if they realize they may not have great judgement, they'll do it anyway if they feel they're "supposed to".

But many in the adult world (again particularly the younger adult world) take the viewpoint that drinking is a personal decision that effects only oneself. As a result, many believe that as long as their drinking does not get in the way of their own life, it's not a problem. I think there is often not a connection made between their behavior and the example they are setting for others. Yet at the same time, that is the only way we'll ever seriously alter the drinking behavior of the younger generation - by setting a different example ourselves. Drinking laws are not going to do a great deal either way.

Now, driving laws are a different matter, because they are much more easily enforceable. 14-year-olds don't often go sneaking around driving a lot, simply because they could easily be caught. So, I think raising the driving age would be effective. But at the same time, it would also be more costly - because driving in America is often virtually a prerequisite for doing anything, including working. Raising the driving age would make it very difficult for teens to get and hold jobs.

The exception would be, again, if we altered our own behavior as adults. If we drove less as a culture, and altered our infrastructure accordingly, teens would also be able to get away with driving less.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by RackhamsRazor:
I disagree. How about we just expect more out of our children? How about we expect them to not be stupid and drink underage and complicate it more by driving? Most 16 year olds are not mature enough to handle drinking. Making it legal for them to drink is not going to decrease the amount of drunk-driving related accidents. My bet is that more 16 year olds would drink because it was legal, more kids would be irresponsible, and more kids would die as a result.

I have found that in places where teenagers are permitted to drink at an earlier age than they can drive helps them acclimatize to the effects of alcohol as well as learn their limits. If you learn to drive first and do so for several years before drinking, I fell like this instills a false sense of one's driving abilities when alcohol is introduced. We separate driving from drinking by 5 almost 6 years here in the US. I really think bringing them closer together can only help.

Drinking at a younger age also to some extent takes some of the rebelliousness out of alcohol, which in turns prevents stupid decisions that often follow rebellion.

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