When Spider Monkey walked over and said her intern Blair was dead, my heart soared because I thought that meant Blair had nothing to do and could finish off some fact-checking for me. Wrong. Blair is participating in Highland Park High School’s “Shattered Dreams” program, which is designed to scare the you know what out of students in an effort to keep them sober come prom night. The school has been doing this for a couple of years, and we’ve covered it in Park Cities People before (no link, sorry). I’m doubtful these scare tactics work, but jump for Blair’s account from the grave.
This morning, students attended a staged car wreck featuring HPHS students, their parents, ambulances, and police and fire officials. The student playing the drunk driver was “arrested” and actually spends the night in prison (filmed by HPTV students). Every 15 minutes after the wreck, the sounds of screeching tires and a heartbeat stopping are played over the loudspeaker to represent the death of a teenager as a result of a drunk-driving accident. Selected students are escorted out of their class by the Grim Reaper as a police officer reads an obituary written by the parents of the student. Funeral home workers roll the “living dead” students on gurneys through the hallways. These students are “dead” and, once painted pale with dark circles around their eyes, may not speak to their peers for the remainder of the day. The program concludes March 28 with a memorial service for the victims of the staged car wreck and the “living dead” students in which obituaries will be shared and a video documenting the series of events will be played.