This program is on hold for a few years, we will update when Admin chooses a 

date for return.

Every 15 Minutes Program

In Every May 2011 the WHHS PTSA sponsored the powerful Every 15 Minutes Program for the students.  

To view the photo album from the 2011 event, click the link below.

        Every 15 Minutes Photo Album - 2011 West Hills High School

Life's lessons are best learned through real life experience. Unfortunately, when the target audience is a group of  teenagers and the topic is effects of drinking and driving, we would not chose experience as the teacher of choice.

The Every 15 Minutes Program offers the opportunity to experience real-life without the real-life risks. The emotionally charged program, Every 15 Minutes, is an large scale event designed to dramatically influence teenagers with the true, potentially dangerous consequences of drinking alcohol. This powerful program challenges students to think about drinking, personal safety, and the important responsibility of making mature decisions when real lives are involved.

The focus of this real-experience assembly stresses that the decision to consume alcohol can affect many people, not just the one who drinks. This heart-wrenching, emotional event will illustrate to students, the dangerous consequences of alcohol consumption, regardless of how casual they believe their use may be. 

This event is a collaboration of our local Police and Fire Departments, High School Staff, Local Hospital, Community Officials, Video Production Crew, District Attorney's Office and a wide cross-section of the community at-large. It is the goal of the  Every 15 Minutes Program to utilize the resources, strength and talents of business and industry to prevent teenage drunk driving.

At the beginning of the event, the "Grim Reaper"  calls a selected students out of class. There is one student removed from a class every 15 minutes. A police officer enters the classroom to read an obituary which has been written by the "dead" student's parent(s). The obituary explains the circumstances of their classmate's demise and  highlights the contributions the student has made to the school and the community. A few minutes later, the student returns to class as the "living dead." The "living dead" are complete with white face make-up, a black Every 15 Minutes T-shirt and a coroner's tag.  From that point they return to class, "victims" will not speak or interact with any of the other students for the remainder of the school day. Simultaneously, a group of uniformed officers will be making a mock death notifications to the parents of the "dead" students. Notifications are made at their home or place of employment. 

After lunch, a simulated traffic collision is staged on the school grounds. A team of rescue workers will treat injured student participants. These student participants will experience first hand, the sensations of being involved in a tragic, alcohol-related collision. The coroner will handle the multiple fatalities on the scene, while the injured students will be extricated by the  fire-fighters and paramedics using the jaws-of-life.  Police Officers will go through the process of  investigating, arresting, and booking the student "drunk driver".  The experience will continue for the student participants as they are taken on an actual trip to the morgue, the hospital emergency room, and then to a local police department jail for the purpose of being booked for "drunk driving". 

At the end of the day, students that participated in the staged accident (including those that were made-up to be the  "living dead") will be transported to a local hotel for an overnight retreat (stay). The hotel stay will simulate the separation from friends and family.  There will be a team of  counselors and police officers that will facilitate the retreat. 

The most powerful component of the program is during the retreat when the students are shown an audio-visualization of their own death. Each student will then be required to write a letter to their parents starting with out with... 

"Dear Mom and Dad, every fifteen minutes someone in the United States dies from an alcohol related traffic collision, and today I died. I never had the chance to tell you......."

As a part of the program, parents will also be asked to write similar letters to their children. The letters from students and parents will be shared the following day when parents and students are reunited at a school assembly. 

The next morning, a mock funeral service is held at the High School. The assembly begins with a video of normal school day activities  and includes scenes from the first day of the "Grim Reaper" and the staged accident. The assembly will be hosted by an Officer that will  guide the audience through the devastating effects of one bad choice that lead to losing a loved one. The assembly speakers will include students that read letters to their parents, police officers, and the hospital personnel who share their emotional trauma of dealing with kids killed in accidents. The parents will share their personal reflections of their involvement in this program. The assembly concludes with a powerful speaker who actually lost a child to a drunk driver.  

Every 15 Minutes Program 3