Even as students grow into adulthood and get ready to leave high school, educators at the Quinlan Independent School District embrace the responsibility to make every last second a teaching experience.
The Greenville Herald-Banner reports one of those lessons is the dangers of drunk and distracted driving, which leads to tens of thousands of deaths each year. To achieve that goal, the district recently organized a third "Shattered Dreams" event.
School administrators collaborated with the district's police department -- as well as other first responders in Hunt County -- to organize re-enactments that showed students how big an impact their actions can have in the real world.
Reenactments included a gruesome scene of a car wreck that showed people, portrayed by high school theater students, who were partying in celebration of prom.
Local police, emergency and fire crews participated in the exercise to heighten the reality of the act, arriving on scene with emergency vehicles. Mothers of the students in the reenactment also participated by showing up emotional to the scene of the car crash.
One of the fictional victims of the crash was even flown out by a helicopter.
The school even organized a mock funeral service for a character that had lost their life as part of the reenactment storyline on the previous day.
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Following the mock funeral, students also got to witness a mock trial involving the fictional driver of the vehicle.
Quinlan ISD Superintendent Jeff Irvin said the extra effort that the district put into organizing the two-day event will do a better job of instilling a message that will stay with students throughout adulthood.
"It just shows our kids what exactly can happen when people are drinking and driving, or texting and driving," Irvin said. "They witness the pain behind losing a friend or loved one to a senseless act that could have been prevented."
The district organizes "Shattered Dreams" every three years, and this is the third time that the event has been held at Ford High School. Through an application process, the district also chooses a group of students who are selected to help their peers visualize some of the data behind drunk and distracted driving.
Fifteen students were chosen this year and picked out of their classes to portray individuals who had lost their lives to irresponsible driving. During the two events, the group did not talk to anyone, and wore gray shirts and face paint.
After the May 2 reenactment of the car wreck, students attended an overnight retreat to discuss what they learned.
Damien Garcia, who is in 10th grade at Ford High School, was one of the fifteen students attending. Garcia said the visualization exercises made a big impact on his understanding of the consequences of drunk and distracted driving.
"Of course, we all know its fake, but it's still really vivid -- seeing the car wreck and the mothers crying," Garcia said.