- The Washington Times - Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A Wisconsin high school is under fire for a drill on driving safety in which students were tricked into thinking that four of their fellow classmates had died in a tragic car accident.

Students at Brodhead High School were told during the morning announcements Wednesday the names of four of their classmates who had supposedly died in a car accident that morning, a local NBC affiliate reported.

Several minutes later, a second announcement informed students that they were undergoing a driving safety drill, and that their classmates had not died.

Brodhead High School Principal Jim Matthys told NBC that the drill was put on by the student council as part of a yearlong campaign on safe driving.

The “dead” students who were named in the first announcement were instructed ahead of time not to respond to phone calls, NBC reported.

“A lot of our fellow friends and students actually started crying because they thought these people were actually dead and so I think a lot of them actually called their parents in school, too,” student Madison Trombley said.

The bizarre announcements continued throughout the day, and at one point, the school principal announced on the intercom that four other classmates had “died,” The Washington Post reported.

“You just kind of became numb to it,” junior Sam Bolen told The Post. “They just kept doing it. It just didn’t really make sense.”

Brodhead School District Superintendent Leonard Lueck defended the drill but admitted to issues in its execution. He told The Post that the district formally apologized to parents and students “for any undue stress this activity may have caused.”

“While we stand by the worthiness of the activity, we recognize the flaws with how it was communicated,” he said. “We will evaluate the value of this activity and either make changes to how it is communicated or not do the activity again.”

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