Students filed out into the parking lot of Channelview High School and saw one of the worst automobile accident scenes they had ever witnessed.
It was only a simulation. It definitely got the students’ attention. It was all too real.
This is Shattered Dreams.
Shattered Dreams is an educational program designed to prevent teen drinking and driving. The event was hosted by Ben Taub Hospital’s Trauma Services Department, a part of the Harris Health System. The event was coordinated on the CHS campus by teacher Karen Hebert.
As part of the program, a simulated crash took place near the south side of the school on Crockett Street on the first day of the two-day event. Channelview EMS and Fire, Harris County Constable Precinct 3 deputies, along with other local emergency personnel participated in the event as “first responders” to the staged accident scene, where students were portrayed as fatal accident victims.
“Our students have often heard about the dangers of drinking and driving, but his program enables the reality of it to hit home in a very realistic and dramatic way,” Hebert said. “When they saw some of their friend and fellow classmates bloodied and their parents crying, it shows how life can be changed because of poor choices such as getting behind the wheel of a vehicle under the influence of alcohol.”
The night following the event, some students were allowed to visit the trauma center of Ben Taub Hospital and see emergency medical procedures being conducted on accident victims and shooting victims.
“The victims were saw were real and the trauma we saw was eye-opening,” Hebert said. “It shows again that lives can be shaped by the choices that people make.”
In addition to the accident victims, other students known as the “living dead” left their classrooms representing those who died in alcohol-related car crashes nationwide.
A memorial service was for the victims was held during the second day of the program at the Bill Neal Center and several speakers will addressed the dangers of drinking and driving.
Shattered Dreams accident victims were required to write letters to their parents and loved ones expressing their thoughts after their “death.”
Christian Metz was one of several CHS students who uttered the difficult beginnings to their letter, opening with the line: “Dear Mom and Dad…today I died.” He continued, “I am so sorry things happened this way. I want you to know I love you more than anything and want to thank you for always being there for me.”
As the letters were read, they clearly affected the students and faculty members as they could be seen sobbing in the audience.
“The Shattered Dreams program has had such a powerful effect on our students,” said Cindi Ollis, CHS principal. “They see that the consequences of poor decisions can have such a far-reaching impact. After going through the program, they leave forever changed.”