Students get a lesson out of Every 15 Minutes

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By Bernadette Lauritzen

Los Alamos Police Department in collaboration with a variety of agencies will present “Every 15 Minutes,” at Los Alamos High School today.
The event is an opportunity to educate students about the gravity of topics like drinking and driving, prior to large-scale events like the prom.
“The program involves two major groups of students: the ‘living dead’ and the ‘crash group,’ ” said Officer Jason Herrera, of the Los Alamos Police Department. “The ‘living dead’ are students that are pulled from class by the Grim Reaper. Upon leaving the class, police officers and chaplains provide the death notification of the student to the class. Students are then taken, placed into an Every 15 Minutes T-shirt, given white face paint and return to class.”
The activity, which may be viewed by some as harsh, allows students to view the real-world scenario that every 15 minutes, someone dies in an alcohol-related crash.
Students receive a different perspective of how someone can be taken away, in a moment of time, with no opportunity to say goodbye.
“The rest of the school day, those students are mere shadows of themselves: present in class, but not speaking or interacting with those around them,” Herrera said.

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