Dumber singer headline

In response to a two-day dramatic presentation about the consequences of drunken driving, about 30 students protested the presentation of "Every 15 Minutes" at Douglas High School.

Sophomore Stacey Pociasek said the presentation involved "messing with people's emotions."

During a protest Friday morning, held on the football field where Thursday's presentation took place, students discussed their concerns with each other about "Every 15 Minutes."

Students also objected to the program because DHS student Johnathan Lucas Wendling died less than three months ago during a Feb. 13 plane crash.

Some students were caught off guard by the mock obituary announcements read throughout classrooms Thursday morning by a sheriff's deputy, who was accompanied by a costume-clad Grim Reaper, she said.

"We're supposed to trust these people," Pociasek said of deputies and school officials. "I know some kids are going to look back when someone does die and wait for someone to come in and tell them it's not real."

Pociasek said she and about 25 students who protested the event prefer money for future presentations be spent on a different type of program.

"We want a program that actually helps," she said. "We're wondering how something positive can come out of something so negative."

Vice Principal Tom Morgan said some students had a few concerns, but some of Friday morning's protesters admitted later to using the demonstration as an excuse to skip class.

Morgan said the protesters were given the option of avoiding Friday's follow-up assembly, but the majority chose to attend.

Pociasek said she and other students plan to complain about the two-day demonstration to school board members during their May 15 meeting at Kingsbury Middle School.

"Some things you should just leave alone. Death and funerals are one of those sacred things you cannot mess with," she said. "We all think they went way too far."

One DHS parent, Sandy Withrow, said the program goes overboard.

"The (district) should have warned the parents, because my daughter was in a wreck two weeks ago," Withrow said.

The program left Withrow's daughter, Amber, "shaking and in tears because it was so (much) like two weeks ago."

"I believe in teaching kids a lesson, but 'Every 15 Minutes' goes overboard," she said. "For students to come running into class saying this child is dead, that's not fair.

"They should have had some warning," she said.

The program was kept largely under wraps until Thursday.

"Let's not rip these kids hearts out and throw it back in their faces," Withrow said.


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