Shattered Dreams teaches students about the effects of drunk driving


Vaishnavi Josyula

Shattered dreams, also known as Living Dead, is a two-day event held on March 31 and April 1 at LTHS that featured a staged car crash in partnership with the Frisco Police and Fire Department. 

According to Student Resource Officer (SRO) Will Lo, while the program started with the intention to educate students about the risks behind drinking and driving, it has now evolved into teaching them about making “good decisions.”

“It might be not wearing your seatbelt, it might be getting into a car where we know that it’s an impaired driver, it’s texting and driving, just a ton of those things that could possibly affect your life,” he said. “It’s to show that not only do those decisions affect you, but also your family and friends and everyone around you.”

Throughout the day on March 31, student volunteers dressed as the grim reaper visited classrooms and pulled students out to the auditorium.

“After they pulled them out, they got to put on a ghostly makeup and they were told pretty much not to interact with the students because they were ‘dead,’ hence [it’s also called] Living Dead,” Lo said. “It’s just another reminder just to show the students that we are not invincible as much as we like to think we are, and unfortunately it’s a possible consequence of poor choices.”

Later, all seniors gathered in the auditorium at 10:45 a.m., where a video depicting a party leading to the car crash was played. 

“I got with Broadcast and said ‘this is generally what we’re looking for so y’all come up with the story however y’all wanna do it’ so they did it,” Lo said.

At 11 a.m., all students and staff watched a staged car crash that depicted the real-life consequences of the aftermath of that video. 

“I was in the crash and acted as a drunk teen getting into a car with other drunk teens,” car crash victim and senior Ruby Desnon said. “I died at the hospital – they called my time of death and everything.”

After the school day, all the volunteers went on an overnight retreat until the next morning, where they toured a funeral home, had dinner, and listened to guest speakers, Lo said. 

“We come back to LT in the morning, and in the evening, we all sit down and write goodbye letters that say ‘here, if you had made a mistake and maybe passed away, what would you want to say to your loved ones,’ so we sit down and ask for two volunteers to read them to the student body,” he said.

To add to the realism, some volunteers put up their picture and obituary in the rotunda and had their names nailed on a cross at the car wreck, Lo added. 

Parallely, “Friday morning, all the seniors gathered in the auditorium… to see a memorial for just a student that has “passed away” here at LT, then we’ll have speeches,” he said. “This year we had our Chief Medical Officer for Frisco Fire, our chapelin, and then Dr. Duce speak. Then, we’ll play a video as to what happened during the accident because people go to the hospital, there was a helicopter, they work on the patients at the hospital, our student driver gets arrested, and it shows the process of her going through a bond hearing and getting arrested.”

While it was challenging to coordinate Shattered Dreams due to the multiple aspects of the event, Lo said he was able to delegate the work and make the event a success. 

“To me, it’s a chance to try and give something to our students, something they might remember and carry with them for a long time,” Lo said. “And for the students, hopefully it’s rewarding because they go through an experience that not very many high schoolers get to participate in. Hopefully it serves them to remind them to make good choices.”