Every 15 Minutes Program Provides Crucial Lesson For Students of Woodside

Kira Newman

Kira Newman

Christian Touhey and Stella Haussler

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Woodside administration stunned students last week with a graphic reenactment of a drunk driving crash followed by a funeral. This event was held to urge students to participate in safe driving.

The two-day event that took place at Woodside was made possible by Every 15 Minutes, a nationwide program founded by Police and Fire Departments, as well as local hospitals and high schools. The organization name comes from the statistic that every 15 minutes, someone either dies or is severely injured from a drunk driving related incident.

Sophie Morgan, a freshman at Woodside that participated in the staged crash, admits it was a weird experience and that she was initially unsure about participation.

“I trust myself now to make smart decisions if I’m ever in this scenario,” Morgan commented. “It gives me more confidence when it’s time to get my license.”

With prom only a few days away, it is no surprise that Woodside chose to have the event when it did.  

The staged crash sparked mixed opinions amongst students at Woodside High School. While the event undoubtedly taught a crucial lesson about the consequences of being involved in a drunk driving situation, some students had to leave mid-event because of post traumatic flashbacks. Other students felt that Woodside took the event too far.

The second day of the event featured a realistic funeral, with bagpipe performers and caskets carried by student volunteers. A woman, who experienced a tragic death in her family from a real drunk driving crash spoke during the mock funeral. The event lasted around two hours, about the same time as the car crash.

The cost for this reenactment has not been confirmed, but Student Activity Coordinator, Leslie With, estimates the event to be around $10,000. However, Woodside receives a certain amount of the money back from the state, thanks to funding provided by local Police stations.
The students were left in shock from the seminar as many became emotional. Woodside hopes students will take advantage of what they have seen and will drive responsibly.

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