Students Up In Arms About Drunk Driving Hoax
OCEANSIDE, Calif. (AP) — School officials in Oceanside, California, are defending a scared-straight exercise that sent some El Camino High School students into hysterics.
One Monday last month, California Highway Patrol officers went to 20 classrooms and delivered the grim news that several students had been killed in drunken-driving car crashes over the weekend.
The news devastated Michelle de Gracia, who says she was nauseated and too stunned to cry. Others in her physics class were so upset that the teacher had to tell them it was all staged. Then they became angry. Michelle says “they got the shock they wanted.”
A 15-year-old student says, while she feels “betrayed” by her teachers and school administrators, she also feels that “if it saves one life, it’s worth it.” Others disagree. During assemblies after the hoax, some students held up posters reading “Death is real. Don’t play with our emotions.”
Camino High guidance counselor Lori Tauber says “we wanted them to be traumatized.”