Chugiak High Gives Students a Hard Lesson About Drunk Driving
The Grim Reaper pulled students out of class to demonstrate the effects of drunk driving
CHUGIAK - The Grim Reaper walked the halls of Chugiak High School Wednesday and pulled a student out of class every 15 minutes.
It was an exercise to simulate the death of the student in an alcohol related traffic accident.
“It's the best way to show them the reality of losing a classmate, a friend, a family member without obviously losing somebody,” said Officer Bradley Clark, a School Resource Officer with Service High School.
Clark was helping with the two day program by entering the classroom to read an obituary after the Grim Reaper had taken the student.
Those chosen are not allowed to talk to anyone for 24 hours. They will remain at a retreat overnight with supervising teachers.
"They informed our parents when we died,” said senior Danielle Essary. “I wanted to text my mom and be like, 'how are you doing with your daughter's death,' but I can't.”
The exercise included a crash simulation, and the student victim was taken to the morgue in a body bag.
"They pulled me out [of the body bag] and basically said if I had actually died this is where they would do this, this is when they would cut me open, this is where they would store me for the night, this is how they would identify me - fingerprints,” said crash victim John Mangrum.
The simulation is no joke for the students; many have been affected by drunk driving.
“I think it hit seniors really hard this year because we all lost some friends, so I think people took it really seriously,” said Essary.
And it’s no joke for the police officers that deliver the obituary to classmates and teachers.
“We have all of those memories of all the times we've actually done this for real and we're hoping we can convey that to all the students there so that we don't have to do that for real,” said Clark.
The key lesson learned?
"All of us can make the decision that we're not going to get behind the wheel if we have a drink or we're going to leave the cell phone in our pocket until we can safely pull over," said Clark.