Shattered Dreams

Does your high school participate in Shattered Dreams, a program designed to show students the consequences of driving under the influence? Ours does; April 30th is the date of our third time through this powerful process. I just got the schedule today; every twelve minutes or so on that day, students will hear a heart beat over the loud speaker. 

That's when a student dressed as the Grim Reaper will go into a classroom with a police officer and a counselor to remove a student who symbolizes another life lost in a drug-or-alcohol-related automobile accident. My job is to stay behind in the classroom and read the obituary that the student wrote, out loud to his classmates. That student statistic will go to the make-up room where he'll put on a black shirt and paint his face white because he will become part of the "living dead" and, as such, is not allowed to speak for the rest of the day. At lunch, an eerie scene; the living dead stand motionless around the perimeter the cafeteria. After school, they line the street in front of the high school.  Sobering?  No doubt.

I knew it was pretend, but this was a tough scene.
At 10:00 that morning, a 9-1-1 call will come over the loud speaker, and all juniors and seniors will head out in front of the school, where they'll witness a mock car crash. My daughter Kaitlyn was one of the mock-car-crash victims as a junior; here's a clip of the events that led up to the mock crash if you'd like to experience this student-led production:

It's an emotionally-loaded day for these teens, for sure, but so important to help them understand that their choices have consequences. The day after the crash, the school actually holds a memorial service for the student(s) who didn't survive the crash; footage of the court proceedings is shown as a follow-up, usually right before PROM. Here's part two; warning - some of the scenes of this dramatization are difficult to watch:

As an interesting variation, a high school down the road 
made theirs a texting and driving accident. For more sobering stats, click here to read a recent blog by Michele Borba about why we must teach our children to be responsible with alcohol.

On a lighter note, keep scrolling down to yesterday's post to listen in on today's interview rescheduled for 8 am central this morning with author Jez Alborough!


  1. WOW, Barbara, what a post!! As far as I am aware, we don't have such a program here in Australia! It must be such an emotional experience for all involved! Such an important message. As the mum of 3 daughters (our eldest aged 16), I found this post very emotional!! Thanks for sharing! I hope you have a wonderful end to your week ~ xx

  2. Wow, that IS powerful. I think I'd have a hard time watching the mock accident and the living dead. But I bet it really helps drive the message home.

    Grade ONEderful

  3. This was a eye-opening post. I found you through Tunstall's Teaching Tidbits. I'm your newest follower :)
    First Class Teacher


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