A high school in rural Wisconsin was shook after an announcement that was made post-morning Pledge of Allegiance claimed that four of its students were killed in a drunk driving incident involving texting and driving. Turns out, it was all a fear-mongering hoax conjured up by administration to give a disincentive for texting while driving.
This was particularly startling for the students of Brodhead, a city about 100 miles southwest of Milwaukee that contains about 3,000 people, because the community is the kind where everyone knows everyone.
“They went into detail about how one of them was rushed to the hospital,” Bolen, a junior, told The Washington Post. “I was pretty upset. It is a really small school, like, most of the people really knew who they were. You kind of know who everybody is in a smaller school.”
The “dead” students involved in the “exercise” were instructed not to answer their cell phones when classmates tried to reach them.
The person on the loud speaker waited 10 minutes, as students began to cry, and hopped back on to announce that there had been no crash and their friends were in fact, not dead.
What students found odd was that the announcements kept going on throughout the day, even after the it had been revealed none of it ever happened.
In the second hour, it was the school principal who came on to tell the student body that four other classmates had “died,” according to the Washington Post.
“These are your morning announcements. Currently today it is the 26th. There have been a series of wrecks and multiple reckless driving things happening currently around Brodhead. We’ve currently lost a handful of fellow students, and we’re going to show you some images of their lives now. We’d like you to give them a moment of silence.”
Then, photos of numerous Brodhead students appeared on the screen while a piano and violin play in conjunction.
“Today make sure you take a moment and think about all your loved ones as those were pretty sad moments there,” the student broadcasters said in their sign-off. “As well as drive safe . . . have a good day.”
You can already guess that this caused division within the community, with some claiming that the exercise was the only effective way to get through to distracted high schoolers while others thought other, less goddamn tragic measures could have been taken.
[h/t The Washington Post]