Different schools have many different initiatives to get students to drive safely since it is not breaking news that teen drivers can be careless at times on the road. However, one school took it too far and is now under criticism. Brodhead High School in Wisconsin thought it was a bright idea to tell their students that four of their classmates died in a car accident to incite fear.
The school told the four selected students to stay home one day and instructed them not to text their peers that they were okay. The next morning the announcement was made. The students were absolutely mortified, and some were even crying. Brodhead is a small town where everyone knows everyone, so hearing the death of their fellow students is personal. Ten minutes later, the announcers tell the students that it was just a drill and that the four students are safe. Nevertheless, the students were still hurt at the recklessness of their teachers and staff to be able to go through with such a malignant tactic to push safe driving.
"It wasn't really effective. They were trying to teach using scare tactics, which doesn't teach. It just makes you not trust the teachers and any of the announcements you're going to get," said Sam Bolen, who attends Brodhead.
Even parents found the announcement uncalled for.
“I don’t feel that you need to go to those kinds of extremes to teach a lesson. It minimizes other people’s feelings who have actually gone through it,” explains mother of student Sam Bolen, whose uncle died in a car crash caused by a drunk driver.
However, not everyone is offended by the act. Many argue that the point of the tactic was to rile the students up and prove how impetuous driving can affect others.
One student, Miranda Ryser, argued on her Facebook page that “If we did anything like this in another way, no one would listen or pay attention to ANYTHING. Try warning high school students of the dangers: they just don’t care.”
The school still stands by the message and the intention of the action. However, they do understand that the execution of the plan was done with a lack of communication to those who should have been notified. Brodhead School District Superintendent Leonard Lueck formally apologized to parents and students “for any undue stress this activity may have caused.”