BATEMAN: Every Fifteen Minutes must come back

BATEMAN: Every Fifteen Minutes must come back


Four years ago, Roseville High school experienced its last Every 15 Minutes assembly. In Every 15 Minutes roughly a dozen seniors would be pulled out of class to theoretically represent one student dying every 15 minutes from drunk driving.

A teacher would then read their obituary to the class, someone would set up gravestones around senior square and the student would go to a nearby hotel to undergo intense lessons on the effects of drunk driving.

The next day, the students would come back to school and attend an assembly with their fellow seniors where their parents would give a speech describing the pain that would occur if their child had, in fact, died from drunk driving.

Today, many schools in our area go to similar measures to simulate how drunk driving can affect students. This means they take this issue much more seriously than RHS, which makes me envy their students.

From what I’ve seen on social media, schools like Woodcreek create incredibly realistic videos that all students – not just seniors – are required to watch in which their peers get in car accidents caused by drunk driving, costing them their lives. After seeing this video on Twitter, I felt emotional even without knowing the students in the video. Watching a high school student’s life taken away by something so illogical was incredibly saddening.

That’s why Roseville High School must bring a similar program back. Though the previous assembly system was rather flawed – only seniors experienced it at all and only the students pulled out of class actually underwent an in-depth learning experience centered around drunk driving – if we were to change it a bit, it could become something incredible.

Not only could this type of event warn against illegal activity while driving, but it could raise awareness towards how unsafe driving habits in general could destroy lives. And with Every 15 Minutes we could also teach students how to appreciate their classmates and their own life.

By simulating their peers hypothetically dying, students are exposed to the true brutality of these deaths and gain an understanding of what real families are forced to go through because of drunk driving.

If a classmate of mine were to “die” in the simulation, when I was given the opportunity to see them again I would be incredibly glad and understand that we must take our lives much more seriously and treat people properly.

Not only could it be important to keeping the roads safe, but families and students could learn to appreciate their own lives and those around them.