CHP Head Fakes DWI Death, Traumatizes Teens

Jonny Lieberman
by Jonny Lieberman
chp head fakes dwi death traumatizes teens

One of my stated goals in life is to never spend a minute in a courtroom. However, if I had a child at El Camino High School in Oceanside, CA, I would be suing the teacher's lounge out of the district and the donut holes out of the CHP. On a Monday morning last month, 20 classrooms received visits from uniformed California Highway Patrol officers who informed them that 26 of their classmates had been killed in drunk driving accidents over the weekend. As was to be expected, many of the students became hysterical. But here's the catch — it was a joke. Ha ha, fooled you! The plan was to keep the hoax up all day and announce the deception at a lunchtime rally. The best laid plans of mice and men… Turns out the students were so traumatized by the hoodwink, many teachers began telling them the truth. Though, not all. Especially students who weren't in the one of the twenty classrooms "participating" in the "lesson" — these students heard about their fellow classmates' deaths in the hallway between classes and had all day to ruminate on them. One 15-year-old, who I am sure speaks for both the school district and the cops, puts it this way, "You feel betrayed by your teachers and administrators, these people you trust. But then I felt selfish for feeling that way, because, I mean, if it saves one life, it's worth it." Oh yeah, totally worth it.

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  • Ihatetrees Ihatetrees on Jun 15, 2008
    Landcrusher: Were a student to pull something like that, they would certainly get in deep trouble with the exact same people who did the exact same thing to them. That’s the point Tree’s is making. They should have applied the Golden Rule. Yes. That was my point. I should have made it more clear. I did advocate impersonating a law officer, which is a serious offense, and is never justifiable. ZoomZoom: A suspension would get the point across to the offenders that bad behavior such as this is unacceptable to that community. A dismissal would get the point across to everybody, including the remaining and/or replacement police or school administrators. I agree that would be ideal. However, we're talking about California. I doubt the teacher union's Nomenklatura will allow much punishment. And anything proposed will get tied up in courts for years. Cops tend to have higher standards. Suspensions or head's rolling wouldn't surprise me.
  • Edgett Edgett on Jun 15, 2008

    I think ihatetrees' point is that the actions of the police and the teachers amounted to terrorism. If a person calls in a false bomb threat, even if the intention is to create preparedness for the bomb, that person is arrested and tried as if he were doing the same as calling in a bomb threat. Just because it is done under the color of authority doesn't justify it anymore than false imprisonment is justified under the color of authority. One of the founding principles of this country was to eliminate this sort of capricious "It's ok if I do it, because I'm a duke, and you're not" nonsense. Although their motives were certainly positive, the action was wrong. The CHP personnel (including whatever idiot authorized it) and the teachers should be suspended from their jobs. If you or I saw a flaw in airport security and proceeded to demonstrate the flaw by bringing a fake shoulder-fired missile to the end of the runway, we would be prosecuted to the full extent of the law, no matter that our motivation was good. "Authority", no matter who it is, must live by the same set of rules. Otherwise, imagine that Homeland Security wanted to alert people to the dangers of terrorism, and pulled similar stunts on people.

  • Shaker Shaker on Jun 16, 2008

    Their hearts were in the right place, but their heads were up their asses. Of course, as has been said, kids are so desensitized to the awful consequences (blood, gore and death), that the "authorities" felt they had to up the ante... If kids are so insensitive to potential tragedy, then maybe their parents should reflect on the lessons that they did not instill in their tadpoles.

  • LUNDQIK LUNDQIK on Jun 16, 2008

    @Brian Tiemann: That Arrested Development reference was great.