INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — About 1,000 Indianapolis-area students spent Monday morning at Bankers Life Fieldhouse attending Your Life Matters, Decision House. It’s designed to get teens thinking about the consequences of their everyday decisions.
But this is not an event with adults lecturing kids. This is kids learning from potential real life scenarios that they may some day experience.
“We wanted to show them that there are consequences to the decisions they make each and every day as they’re growing up,” said Al Larsen, spokesman for the Department of Public Safety.
This is the second year for the Decision House program, started by Public Safety Director Troy Riggs.
“They get a chance to see first-hand how scary some these things can be. And hopefully they take that away and use it to their benefit going forward,” Larsen said.
The students watch short skits that present serious dilemmas. Then they find out what happens afterward.
“The scene where he shot the other person and he got arrested for it and the other person died. You know the attitude in the courtroom is very significant,” said Coadie Bennet, one of the students who attended.
“I learned that you should not drive intoxicated. And in the courtroom you should act like, you know, have some sense,” said Brenda Harvey, another student who was there.
And the dramatic scenarios in many cases include actors who are high school students, themselves, Larsen said.
“So that it could be teens performing for teens, to make that peer connection, and it turns out to be a pretty powerful performance,” he said.
In the ongoing fight against crime in Indianapolis, those involved say it takes more than adding police officers. The hope is, showing students while they’re still young the impact of making bad decisions could, years from now, pay dividends in curbing crime.