Simulated exercise seems very real to students

Humboldt High School senior Alex Mason (foreground right) is dressed in jail fatigues and is flanked by his attorney, Daniel Feistner, during a mock plea taking and sentencing at Humboldt High School last Friday. Pictured in the background are Alex's parents, Dawn and Lincoln Mason. Humboldt Independent photo.

By Kent Thompson
Humboldt High School and Alpha School students got a sobering lesson in the unintended consequences poor choices can have through a realistic and emotionally grueling two-day program called Every 15 Minutes, which was conducted at the Humboldt High School and Humboldt County Fairgrounds last Thursday and Friday, March 30-31.
The idea to have the program locally came from Humboldt County Deputy Sheriff Cory Lampe, who coordinated the program with Humboldt Police Officer Erin Bennett.
The scenario began early Thursday morning when the Grim Reaper (played by Nick Schluter) began pulling students out of class every 15 minutes. The students, 16 in all (including one from the Alpha School) represented a cross section of the student body and included students from every grade level. A peace officer then entered the classroom and read an obituary that had been written by the student’s parents. It told the classmates that the student had been killed in a traffic accident and listed the contributions the student had made in his/her short life. The exercise continued with a fatal car crash involving five students at the Humboldt County Fairgrounds, which all the students witnessed. It was followed by a hospital emergency room scene where one of the students died; a mock funeral for the student; a trial for one of the other students, who was charged with two counts of homicide by vehicle; and several guest speakers about how poor choices of driving while distracted or impaired can have devastating and disastrous results.
Read the full story and see photos of the event in this week's Humboldt Independent. Subscribe to print or digital editions of the paper by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

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