Teachers Defend Tactics in Hoax DWI Program

Another example of the Public School System’s lack of common sense or even any intelligence at all?

Teachers Defend Tactics in Hoax DWI Program

OCEANSIDE, Calif. — 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.

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My vote is yes

Okay, at the risk of aligning myself with an organization that may not have “any intelligence at all” I voted Maybe. While I certainly can understand the knee jerk reaction to lying (a sin in this case?) I recognize that aside from some raw emotions, which will heal rather quickly, no real harm was done. The results of this unorthodox method will most certainly be remembered by the students for the rest of their lives. Had this been the usual “don’t drink and drive” lecture, would the teens have even remembered it by the time the bell rang dismissing them from class?

So while it seems on the surface to be cruel (and perhaps it is to a certain degree), the message was driven home and hopefully, the effect will save lives. If it does, then I believe that the shedding of a few tears over a “scared straight” approach was more than worth its weight in human lives.

But what about those who never drank (nor even desire to drink) in the first place - much less not even drive? What if a kid heard it and was so distraught that they darted out the back of the room, never hearing it was a hoax, and winds up calling relatives, or even worse, trying to harm themselves?

When I was a teen (I never drank, nor will I ever drink - don’t even feel like drinking, and I don’t even drive…), they had these types of things (not this far, but they would do stuff like display an open casket from the local funeral home at the top of the street, or a wrecked car), it always felt like they assumed all teens were going to drink and drive. I think it kind of takes away some trust teens would have in adults. That’s what it all boils down to - trusting and respecting authority and their elders. It’s kind of hard when a teen feels like adults are assuming they’re guilty before being proved innocent so to speak.

The point of this to bring home the reality of drinking and driving and the tragic results. The problem is it’s not real. After all the drama and hysteria they find out it’s not real. Just like the video games teens play, their character dies and then gets another life.

They’re being lied to by law enforcement officers, their emotions are being played with which I think is grossly disrespectful to say the least and in the end their classmate is alive and all is well. I would be angry if my child was subjected to this.

It is a stupid idea. If I called in the accident to the same policeman as a hoax, I would be arrested. There is a reason one can not do evil so that good may come. Such a terrible lie can never be justified. If we put ourselves in the shoes of the kids, where someone told us that a loved one was killed to shock us, would we care if the shock was for a supposed greater good? The school is fortunate they did not have the riot they deserve.

Everyone brings up good points. I don’t particularly like the lying involved in order to teach the lesson which is why I said maybe. I am not opposed to trying something different to drive home the point to our teens that drinking and driving leads to death however. Perhaps it’s the fact that I have been in law enforcement for 19 years and know first hand what a teen fatality involving alcohol looks like. Yes, what the people involved with this situation did is distasteful, but I promise it’s not as distasteful as telling a mother that her daughter was killed in a car accident because she or those she was with were drinking.:frowning:

No matter how good the intention, this is equivalent to yelling “Fire” in a crowded movie theater just to test the emergency exit plan. :eek: Someone could get hurt.

But that is just what they did say, except it was a hoax. I know the relationship is different, but there were some who thought they had lost their best friend. I, too, do not mind inventive ways of driving home the point, but a blanket spanking of the whole school is not the answer. If one is going to try extreme shock therapy, it needs to be targeted and honest. How about a ride along for any teens drinking and driving for the next fatality accident and death notification? A trip to the morgue?

I know I am gonna get flamed for this but, in my opinion, this borders on a terrorist act. It caused mass mass hysteria and mental anguish. If this was anyone but the schools, the person or persons would be in jail. But, of course, they protect their own.

Hmmm . . . wonder why the people who condemn showing graphic immages of aborted children aren’t here, attacking this idea?


:wave: There’s me. I am here and posted on both.

Is this something to sue over?

I lost a sister to a drunk driver. She left 3 teenagers without a mother. Our mother never recovered and was bitter to the day she died. To this day, over 30 years later, the family still suffers my sisters loss. She was bright, funny, kind and upbeat. What a waste, what a loss, I really miss her. She was so good to me.

One part of me says, no do it. Some teenagers need to be shocked into reality. If one family is spared the misery my family went through then it was worth it.

One part of me says, yes this is incorrect. I hope there are not any temporary mental issues caused by it. I think it was over the top and excessive.

But “bordering on a terrorist act” is ridiculous. I believe that the teachers need to be counseled in sensitivity training, no more.

Good question. I say absolutely not, but then I don’t believe in suing, especially when a good rant will do.

But the teacher’s action was *inappropriate! * The children were traumatized! It’s the parent’s right to decide when children have experiences like this!

:smiley: Yep, but I do not believe in suing, even stupid teachers. Fire those involved since it seems they didn’t learn from their mistake. If would have been apologetic and not defensive, then I would think learning from a mistake would be good enough.

But the school let them do it!

This was completely inappropriate.

Adults in authority should NOT lie to teenagers. As soon as the lies were exposed, everything truthful is going to be discounted from that source.

“We did this in earnest,” he said. “This was not done to be a prankster.”

Yet, it was nothing more than a macabre, evil prank perpetrated by the Highway Patrol and the school authorities. You do not do evil (lying for the purpose of traumatizing others) because you think it MIGHT make a difference. Because unless evidence can be shown that exposing teens to lies about classmates being killed by a drunk driver (even in the lie that the classmate wasn’t at fault for the accident) will reduce fatalities due to drunk driving, there is zero justification for this behavior on the part of the adults.

I’m not sure that suing anyone would be the proper response, however.

Not only was it wrong (teachers and law enforcement lying, what a way to lose all crediblity and respect with these kids), but I highly doubt it did any good. Teenagers think they’re invincable. Even if a friend or family member was really killed in a drunk driving accident (or drug overdose, or by buying drugs in a bad neighborhood, insert any dangerous, irresponsible behavior), the majority of teens STILL wouldn’t believe it could ever “happen to me.” Most have that ridiculous idea (shared by many adults, unfortunately) that they drive better when they’re drunk :eek: (no one else does, just them :rolleyes: ).

A much better way (which again, may not help, but wouldn’t hurt, either), would be to take the kids on ridealongs, or to the morgue, etc. like someone else mentioned.

In Christ,


I don’t see what harm this did. Drunk driving kills. Sometimes it takes drastic measures to show the reality of it. No one was out at risk here. Maybe it shocked the kids for a minute, but it’s not like they won’t recover. I’ve never driven drunk, but I would support this if it happened at my school because I realize other kids aren’t as responsible. As long as they didn’t say it was my family(which I think would go way too far) I would be ok.

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