Monday, May 24, 2010
There are some things that I just don't get. Mock Crashes definitely fall into this category. I understand the basic concept. High school students get to see a drama played out of the potential of dangerous driving. They see their peers play the parts of both driver and victim. It actually gets pretty intense. A kid is actually pulled from a smashed car and zipped into a body bag. It's highly effective for the kids that play the roles. They can get, understandably, pretty traumatized by it. But for the others -- the ones that are supposed to be receiving the message get really mixed signals. You've got kids seeing the "reality" of car accidents, but they also know it's pretend. They stand around and mutter about the drama department kids and then say, "When do we get to the cool part where the use the jaws of life? I wanna see them take that car apart." So... is it effective or no? Afterwards, there is a debrief in the auditorium. The students that "died" read their own obituaries. Obviously, this has the potential to be extremely disturbing and emotional, but you have a lot of jaded kids that just wait for it to be done so they can move on to lunch, too.
It's hard to look at the amount of money of being spent, the amount of resources being used and hear the kids that could care less about what's being done for their benefit. But of course, if even one kid is made to think differently about speeding, driving under the influence, texting and driving... obviously that's well worth the time and expense. It's a mixed bag, I guess. I still just find the whole thing pretty creepy. It's definitely not something I'd willingly view again.
Side note: A word about the community where this school is located. Someone saw the red car upside down on the lawn of the school and pulled over and called in emergency services. A great gesture, except that an ambulance, fire truck, tow truck and hearse were parked about ten feet away.