A few months ago I posted about a staged scene designed by MADD in which police officers came to a high school and falsely told students in 20 classrooms that one of their classmates had been killed in a drunk driving accident. Before they were told the truth hours later, many of the kids "were driven to tears – a few to near hysterics". See MADD’s Latest Weapon. The newest version of this tactic:
Staged DUI Arrest
Fresno, CA. Nov. 20 – A staged drunk driving arrest is getting mixed reaction at a local high school. Administrators at San Joaquin Memorial working with Fresno police set up the fake arrest to show kids the dangers of drinking and driving.
This morning juniors and seniors were told the truth about the alleged drunk driving incident…That it was all a hoax. The principal says he’s not apologizing for the education the kids got about drinking and driving.
One student caught the fake drunk driving arrest on tape. Standout Water Polo player Kevin Van Gundy getting arrested in front of the school at lunch time Wednesday for being under the influence. Van Gundy says his friends were both relieved and mad Thursday morning when they found out the truth.
The real story was revealed during an assembly this morning, when Van Gundy faced a Fresno Superior Court Judge, just like he would have if it were real. Not even the teachers knew the truth until the principal sent out this email late Wednesday explaining the DUI lesson.
Administrators kept the secret overnight on purpose, so students would go home and tell their parents…
One parent who contacted action news and didn’t want to be identified said quote "I think the desired effect was not achieved. Parents and students were left devastated for 24 hours. It was traumatic and shocking."
Police Chief Jerry Dyer says sometimes a shock is what students need…
Van Gundy isn’t sure he’d participate again. The exceptional student who carries a 4.3 GPA says many students were really shaken up and he feels bad. "I think it stung a little bit more than it had to. I think keeping the students in the dark over night for so long just kinda leaves a bitter taste in their mouth towards the whole situation as opposed to being able to listen to the message they were a little bit angry at the administration or at me or at the program that it was just a little bit too harsh for some of them."
The principal says this issue is very personal to him, since his brother was killed in a drunk driving accident years ago…
I’m sure the students learned a lesson. What do you think it was?