Brodhead High School in Wisconsin made a controversial decision that students are unhappy about. In the morning announcements, the students were told that four of their classmates had been killed in a car crash. They were told that the accident was caused by texting and driving. The small school was shocked by the details of the event, especially because in a school that size all of the students knew each other.
"A lot of our fellow friends and students actually started crying," Student Madison Trombley told NBC 15 News
Ten minutes after the original announcement was made, the person came back on the speaker and explained that it had been a drill. They were trying to teach safe driving techniques and there was no car crash and no students were dead. Several students are not impressed with the "drill".
"I was pretty upset. It is a really small school, like, most of the people really knew who they were. You kind of know who everybody is in a smaller school." Sarah Bolen, a junior to the Washington Post
The school is standing by the drill, even though many of the kids were upset by it. The Superintendent released a statement that acts as their apology to students for "any undue stress".
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." Superintendent Leonard Lueck
Some of the students in the school have spoken out on behalf of the drill, saying being mad about this is better than having a student actually die.
"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. Miranda Ryser - Student Council member
However parents feel like this message was not delivered properly, especially for those who have had family members in car accidents. The strangest thing was after the first announcement, the principal continued these false death notices throughout the day. They shared images of the 'dead' students, and then at an assembly in the afternoon they named off all the dead students who were scattered around the audience dressed in all black.
The fact that they continued through the day was the most confusing part for the students, with Bolen explaining that "you just kind of became numb to it". The principal of the school refused to comment, but he called out students who were upset and suggested that their parents call him tomorrow.
What do you think about this drill? Do you agree with Bolen that the way to teach children is with compassion and not fear, or do you agree with Miranda Ryser that being upset over this is better than the alternative? Share your opinion in the comments!