Nursing students to stage 'mock fatality' at Hammond High
Contact: Christina Chapple
HAMMOND – With high school prom season approaching, Southeastern Louisiana University nursing students will stage a “mock fatality” at Hammond High School on March 26 to dramatically emphasize the consequences of drinking and driving.
Scheduled for 9:30 a.m. in the HHS football stadium, the event will be coordinated by senior nursing students Michael Davis and Sarah Rick of Tickfaw, Patricia Iten of Mandeville, Jennifer Miller of Slidell, and Paige Pittman of Hammond.
The students selected the mock fatality as their “Capstone Project,” a community-based health assignment required for graduation in which the students design and implement a project that addresses a community health issue.
“This will be the sixth year that Southeastern nursing students have coordinated the annual mock fatality program regarding drinking and driving during prom,” said nursing instructor Terry Compton.
Compton said the deaths of three Southeastern students, killed earlier this month in a hit and run accident alleged to have involved alcohol, emphasizes the importance of educating all students about drinking and driving dangers.
“With the recent events that have happened, the goal of the program is to prevent high school students from making the same mistakes and save lives of young people,” she said.
This year’s program will be attended by the junior and senior students from Hammond High School, juniors from St. Thomas Aquinas High School, and seniors from Loranger High School and Oak Forest Academy.
Compton said participants will create a graphic scenario of a prom night crash, complete with mock injuries, emergency response teams wielding the “jaws of life,” grieving parents, and the arrest of an alcohol-impaired driver by state troopers. One victim will “die” and be taken away in a hearse.
“In light of recent events, programs like this are taking on greater importance,” said Southeastern President John L.Crain, who added that the university is reviewing its alcohol education programs with students and student groups. “It’s important that young people understand the consequences and potential tragedies involved in alcohol abuse and driving. We want to ensure that we are doing everything possible to educate students accordingly.”
Participants include the Hammond fire and police departments, Louisiana State Police, Southeastern drama students, Acadian Ambulance and AirMed, Geisler Funeral Home, 21st Judicial District Attorney Scott Perrilloux, Hammond City Court Judge Grace Gasaway, Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards, Tangipahoa Parish Coroner Mike Foster, and Florida Parishes Human Services Authority Prevention Coordinator Sue Kennedy.
Following the rescue, high school students will hear presentations from Edwards, Gasaway, Perrilloux, and Kennedy.