“Every 15 Minutes” program to take place this Thursday and Friday at LAHS

We wanted to inform you of an important event this week at Los Alamitos High School. On Thursday, March 2 – Friday, March 3, students at Los Alamitos High School will participate in “Every 15 Minutes,” a two-day program that challenges high schoolers to think about the consequences of drinking, personal safety, and the responsibility of making mature decisions when lives are involved.

Every 15 Minutes is a community-wide program presented by The Youth Center in partnership with multiple agencies, including the Los Alamitos Police Department, Orange County Fire Authority, California Highway Patrol, and the Orange County Coroner’s Officer. Since the spring of 1999, the Youth Center has implemented the program at Los Alamitos High School every two years. However, due to COVID-19, the last time the program was at the high school was in 2019, meaning that, as of this year, most students on campus have not seen this event.

The title “Every 15 Minutes” comes from the unfortunate fact that during the early 1980s, every 15 minutes, someone in the United States was killed in an alcohol-related traffic collision. While implementing new laws and grassroots programs has helped bring the death rate down to one death every 30 minutes, this figure continues to be a concern.

The “Every 15 Minutes” program begins on Thursday, March 2, with an outdoor assembly where students witness a dramatization of the aftermath of a fatal alcohol-related collision involving two automobiles. On Friday, March 3, the program culminates with an assembly featuring students, their parents, and testimonies from relatives of real DUI victims.

Please note that emergency personnel, including the Los Alamitos Police Department, fire, paramedics, and the coroner’s office, will be on-site at Los Alamitos High School between 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 2. Noise from sirens, helicopters, and emergency response vehicles may occur during this time, so please do not be alarmed, as this is only a planned reenactment.

We are aware of and remain very sensitive to the fact that these topics are heavy and may cause anxiety and a wide variety of emotions for both students and staff. As such, the LAHS WellSpace will be open to any students who may need additional support. Additionally, extra support from counselors and school psychologists will also be available throughout the day on both Thursday and Friday.

We are grateful to The Youth Center for bringing this program that offers students a real-life experience without real-life risks. If you have any questions about the Every 15 Minutes program, please contact the Youth Center at 562-493-4043.

This article was released by the Los Alamitos Unified School District.