Grim mistake

I want to start this out by saying that I do not condone drinking and driving, nor am I writing this because I feel like drinking is not big issue. I understand the problem that drinking presents and the dangers.

However I do feel that the Grim Reaper project was unnecessary and misguided.

The Grim Reaper project was unnecessary in the sense that there is such a thing as too much. High school students, at this point in our lives, have either been around someone who has had a beer or have had a beer themselves, so at this point, using scare tactics to keep kids from drinking is ineffective.

Countless websites can be found encouraging parents not to use scare tactics when talking to kids about drugs, and yet on the day of the Grim Reaper project, every twenty minutes another fact was thrown at us about the dangers of drinking.  By 12:00, the facts all started to sound the same or a little outlandish. By 1:00, most teachers chose to ignore the announcements all together.

Now I understand the message that they were trying to get across but it’s a message that can be done more effectively in other ways. The fake car crash for example is way more shocking and effective than the Grim Reaper. To be honest when I saw the first person in a mask who was supposed to be dead, I laughed. Not because I was trying to make fun of the person or thought they where doing something stupid, but because the mask they had to wear looked so ridiculous. Most of the masks didn’t fit people correctly and looked more like they where going to a masquerade ball than anything else. (Additional reading:

Another issue is that you are putting the power into the students hands, and by the end of the day, I saw fewer students who were supposed to be dead than I did in the morning.

I do believe underage drinking is a problem, but we are not in grade school anymore; speaking to us like we are kids, regardless of how old we are is not the best method. Trying to scare us into not doing something is only going to make things worse. A better method would to have been to have an assembly to show us how many people died. Read off a list of names and have those students go to the center of the gym and show us the effects.

That wouldn’t be a scare tactic; it’s a move on our pathos. It’s quicker and a stronger message than reading off facts, and it treats us like adults, not kids who need to have a message read to us about the dangers of drinking.