Ocean View High School students began their Monday morning with a visit from the “Grim Reaper” every 15 minutes, symbolizing how often people are killed by impaired drivers.
The students, also known as the “living dead,” were separated from their classmates and parents for the next 24 hours to add a further sense of reality with losing a loved one. A black shroud, topped with a framed obituary and rose, was placed on each of the student’s desk.
Later in the day, the remaining students witnessed the aftermath of a stimulated car crash featuring a 911 call, a fire department rescue using the Jaws of Life apparatus, transportation of the injured by ambulance, and the deceased being taken away by the coroner.
The following day, a mock funeral was held for the “living dead” students. Speakers included Councilwoman Lyn Semeta, Chief of Police Robert Handy, students, parents, and others affected by impaired drivers.
The powerful two-day program was in conjunction with Huntington Beach Police Department, Huntington Beach Fire Department, California Highway Patrol, Knott’s Berry Farm, California Office of Traffic Safety, the local hospital, and many more. In addition, school psychologists were available and therapy dogs were on site to help comfort students and staff during the emotional program.