Traffic crashes, many of which involve alcohol and other drugs, are a leading cause of death and serious injury for youth 15 to 19 years of age. Communities around the state are often faced with these tragedies, and many Texas high schools are turning to Shattered Dreams, a youth–led community collaborative program, to prevent more fatalities.
“Shattered Dreams” is an educational experience that reminds us all of the dangers associated with drinking and driving. It reminds us of the tragic consequences of underage drinking and drinking combined with driving.
The “Shattered Dreams” program involves the dramatization of an alcohol-related crash on or near a high school campus, complete with police and EMS response, emergency room treatment, family notifications, and the arrest of the driver. The crash scene drama is played out before the student body during a school day. Throughout the day the other elements of the “docu-drama” unfold as individuals dressed as the “Grim Reaper” appear throughout the school to select a new victim. The victims are taken out of class, made-up in white faces and dressed in black t-shirts to symbolize death, and then returned to their classrooms to continue their day. By the end of the day, every student has one or more “dead” classmates present in the classroom with him, and on this note the school day ends.
April 22, 2015 — McCallum High School, Austin — The Austin Police Department, Austin Fire Department, Austin-Travis County EMS and Star Flight are partnering with McCallum High School Project Graduation to present a Shattered Dreams event to students on Wednesday, April 22, 2015. Shattered Dreams is an educational experience that reminds students of the dangers associated with drinking and driving.
Led by McCallum High parent Brad Chandler, the Shattered Dreams event involves APD Highway Enforcement Officers and Region 1 District Representatives, as well as an APD Victim Services Counselor will participate in the event.
The next morning a wrap-up assembly is held featuring a presentation from community members whose lives have been affected by teenage alcohol use and drunk driving which bring sclosure to the program and reinforce its dual message for the teenage audience — Don’t drink until you are 21, and never drink and drive.