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Bruin Country Principal's Update (Every 15 Minutes program)
Posted 5/2/19


Hello Bruin Community,

I want to make sure you are aware of a program going on at SCHS over the next two days called Every 15 Minutes.  Every 15 Minutes is a drunk driving awareness program, and it has been shown to be one of the more effective ways to reduce teenager involvement in drunk driving scenarios.  This event is a simulation, and no students have actually been injured or killed.  The program is called Every 15 Minutes because, at the time of its creation, someone died from a collision caused by a drunk driver on average every 15 minutes in our country.  With various education and legal efforts, this statistic has improved, but drunk driving remains one of the greatest dangers for teenagers.

Every 15 Minutes is a large scale production that has been in the works for months involving partners from the police department, fire department, a local hospital, and several local businesses.  There are about twenty juniors and seniors who volunteered to be part of this program, and they are supported by teachers Maichen Liu-Grossman, Lindsey Couto-Mohamed, our admin team, our counselors, our Wellness team, and about fifty other adults from around the community.  We intentionally do not advertise this event ahead of time as the event has been shown to be more effective if it is a surprise for students.

Today, our sophomores, juniors, and seniors are being brought to the football field to witness a mock car collision in which one student will be simulated as having died, another student will be taken to the hospital in an ambulance, and a third student will be arrested for driving under the influence.  Tomorrow, there will be a mock memorial service for the victims of the collision. Both events are emotional for students. In conjunction with our Wellness program and counseling staff, we have put into place several ways to support students who are struggling with this event. Teachers are on the lookout for students who need extra support.

Additionally, I am asking you to be part of our network of support.  Parents, please talk with your students about their experiences. Students, please be aware of the emotional needs of your friends.  Even though this event is a simulation and no one has been injured or died, it can bring up strong emotions and memories. This experience may be especially difficult for students (or adults) who have been affected by car collisions and/or the death of someone near them.  Our Wellness team, counselors, and teachers want to support students, so please reach out to your student’s counselor if you or a student is in need.

The more we can educate students on the dangers of drinking and driving, the safer our students and community will be.  Thank you for helping with this effort.


Gregory Shelby


Santa Clara High School