A simulation of a gruesome crash was staged in front of La Cañada High School on Thursday, April 13, as part of “Every 15 Minutes,” a nationwide program meant to increase awareness among teenagers about the high-stake dangers of drinking and driving.
“It’s about having our students — and adults — pause and question their own behavior,” Principal Ian McFeat said.
The every-two-year program is paid for largely by grants from the California Highway Patrol and the California Office of Traffic Safety and scheduled to take place ahead of the forthcoming senior festivities such as prom and graduation.
Raina Chen, a senior, said she found the scene effective: “It just shakes you up and makes you think.”
Sabrina Patao said she expects what students witnessed last week — including the faux funeral assembly that was scheduled for Friday morning — to cause her peers to pause and consider an alternative to driving if they’ve been drinking alcohol.
“People here can afford Uber,” she said. “So this is avoidable. And we have a lot of [designated drivers]. I do think this will make a difference, because it was pretty scary, sitting in the front and seeing all the blood and everything.”
Some students who had experienced the program two years ago had reservations about the display this time, including Sonya Kalara.
“This is a lot of money spent on a lot of elaborate theatricality,” she said. “I’m not feeling it.”
That’s OK, McFeat said.
“We want a diversity of opinions, that’s a good thing for our school,” he said, adding, “If we can reach one kid, this is a good thing.”