Drunk Goggles Cause Injuries, Teen’s Family Sues
Think back to when you were in school. What sorts of things did you learn? Of course, you probably learned all of the basics – reading, writing, and arithmetic. You might’ve even taken driver’s education, shop class, and a few other elective classes. However, one of the things you might not have been taught in school – in fact, you probably weren’t taught this in school – is what it feels like to have impaired vision when you are drunk.
The Experiment Goes Too Far
However, the Davis School District in Utah had a health class experiment that did just that. In 2014, students in the class were wearing goggles that would simulate the effects of being drunk from a visual perspective. While the idea of the experiment is sound, and it has the potential to teach kids just how dangerous it is to do just about anything when drunk, this one backfired.
In 2014, a student named Kylie Nielsen had put on the goggles in her health class. She was 13 years old at the time. The teacher, Rick Smith, wanted to show the kids how dangerous it could be to walk around and do things while impaired. The exercise proved to be a very important lesson that Kylie and the other students are not likely to forget. However, it went much farther than anyone had wanted.
The court documents say that the teacher encouraged the students to run around the classroom while they were still wearing these goggles. While doing this, Kylie’s foot became entangled in a desk. She ended up breaking her ankle in several places. This required two surgeries to repair, and even then, she still has a substantial amount of problems. In fact, one leg is shorter than her other. In addition, whenever she does any sort of physical activity, she suffers from pain and swelling in that ankle.
This was a big blow to Kylie, as she used to enjoy running track. She was qualified for the All-Star track meet on the same day she was injured. Since this type of injury would prevent her from running track, she has switched to golf. It is less stressful on her ankle.
Because the teacher and school district were at fault for this, they agreed to a settlement in early 2017. They agreed to pay $100,000 to Kylie and her family. $13,000 of that $100,000 went to pay medical expenses, while around $26,000 went for legal fees. The rest of the money, which amounts to around $61,000, was put into a trust account by the Davis School District for Kylie. She will be able to access that money when she turns 18 years old. While this will not take away the pain of the injury, the money could help to pay for college or other things she wants or needs.
Even though the teacher was trying to make a point with the drunk goggles, this proves that some types of experiments simply carry too high of a risk to take place in the school.