Tuesday, November 01, 2016

Rural school announces that 4 students were killed; it was a drill against texting and driving

Brodhead High School is in
Brodhead, Wis. (Best Places map)
A rural high school in Wisconsin has gotten into hot water for making a school-wide announcement that four students had died as part of a simulation to deter texting and driving, Amy Wang reports for The Washington Post. Brodhead High School made the announcement Wednesday morning, then 10 minutes later made a second announcement saying it was a drill. The students reported dead were aware of the drill and told not to use their phones.

The drill, created by the student council and approved by administration, was defended by all parties, Wang writes. School Supt. Leonard Lueck told the Post: “While we stand by the worthiness of the activity, we recognize the flaws with how it was communicated. We will evaluate the value of this activity and either make changes to how it is communicated or not do the activity again.” He said "the district formally apologized to parents and students 'for any undue stress this activity may have caused'.”

Miranda Ryser, who identified herself as a student council member, wrote in a Facebook post: "To the people who are upset about what happened at school today, good. I hope you’re upset about it because I would rather have you upset and pissed off at the student council and the principal for a day, instead of being depressed because one of your classmates ACTUALLY died. I get that some people were already affected by other car accidents but it happens. People die on the daily basis and it happens. Touchy subject or not, it happens and it shows that it can happen unexpectedly."

Some students weren't buying that explanation, Hannah Flood reports for WMTV in Madison. Student Madison Trombley told her, "A lot of our fellow friends and students actually started crying because they thought these people were actually dead and so I think a lot of them actually called their parents in school too." Fellow student Sam Bolen told Flood, "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."

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