By Carly Bell Posted May 15, 2013
Recently you may have seen students wearing white makeup, bruised eyes, and black shirts, and for some odd reason, they weren’t talking as much as they usually do. This was all part of the Every 15 Minutes program which took a lot of planning.
The program is a staged drunk driving accident involving students. It all started with a call from Debbie Wittacure, who is an EMT with Humboldt General Hospital. She told some kids to show up at the ambulance station and prepare to party. A couple of cars went down to Water Canyon, with Corona’s filled with apple juice, Jack Daniels filled with tea, and many other imitation beverages. Unfortunately, this party was going to end in a horrific way.
The next part of the program was to imitate a car crash due to drunk driving. The next day, juniors and seniors were being pulled out of their classes, every fifteen minutes, to show how many kids die due to this terrible thing that ends lives so suddenly. Throughout the day, as kids were being pulled out, they had people read the obituary of the kids. They then received a shirt and applied makeup to imitate death and were not allowed to speak. Classmates “lost” somebody without actually losing them. The juniors and seniors were called out to watch a simulated car crash to see how devastating this really is, and what the paramedics have to do and experience every day because of poor decisions.
The dead you saw throughout the day were then taken to the Convention Center as they were not allowed to go home. They were dead; they could not contact their parents, because they wanted this to hit home. They had a guest speaker at the convention center. It was one of the most touching things the students have listened to. After the speech, they played games, and those games showed how alcohol can impair the senses. Participants were not allowed to use phones or iPods, and it was really a great day to show you how much everyone really means.
At an assembly the next day a video of the event was shown to juniors and seniors. It was a combination of the party, the deaths, the accident, and the impact on everyone. Although the video was a rough draft, but it got the point across.
The assembly was the most emotionally difficult aspect of the program; especially walking by a casket and seeing your own reflection in it.
Senior Renee Poole believes underclassmen should be included in the program.
“Definitely, I think the kids coming up should see this thing, so then they don’t get behind a vehicle while drinking,” said Poole.