MADDnessStudents at El Camino High were heartbroken Monday morning, when they learned that one of their classmates had died in a drunken driving accident. Police offered their condolences to the class and left a rose on the empty desk in memoriam of the victim.

After 2 hours of grieving the students were informed that their classmate was not in fact dead and that the ruse was part of Mother’s Against Drunk Driving (MADD) “Every 15 Minutes” scared straight program. Afterwards Lori Tauber, a counselor at El Camino High, admitted that “the program was a little controversial and that some kids were traumatized but said that most students understood the program’s importance.” (ABC News)

Apparently none of the faculty took any psychology classes in college or they’d know that regardless of the benefit, it’s extremely unethical to cause physical or emotional harm to unwilling/unsuspecting people (yes kids are people too). I only hope one these poor kids sues MADD & the school to make sure this never happens again.