Outrage over anti-alcohol, drugs display at high school

Parents and students were outraged over an anti-alcohol, drugs display at the school. (Photo: WPXI.com)
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Parents and students were outraged over an anti-alcohol, drugs display at the school. (Photo: WPXI.com)

Anger is simmering over a display at Greensburg-Salem high School showing the names of five students who have died from drugs or alcohol on cartoon graves.

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The sign above them reads, "The party's over."

Parents, students and alumni are outraged.

"Stunned me,” said alumnus Junior Astudillo. “I was dumbfounded by it. I was like, ‘Are you serious?’"

It's been shared on social media all day and has spread like wildfire.

"I don't find it appropriate using their name in that type of way. It was insensitive,” Astudillo said.

Astudillo was good friends with Jordan Cobb, who was killed in a 2010 drunk driving crash along with two others named on the cartoon.

"For a lot of people this brought up painful memories, including myself and including his mother,” said Astudillo, who graduated in 2009.

He said the display was insensitive, tearing open an old wound for so many people who were impacted by the tragedy.

"I'm disappointed in the school district for even letting this happen,” he said.

The district told Channel 11 the display was part of "Red Ribbon Week,” which promotes students leading a drug- and alcohol-free lifestyle.

District officials say the display was taken down immediately, and they even contacted the family members of students listed to apologize.

"I understand if you're trying to … educate them on drinking and driving, but that's not the way to go about it,” Astudillo said.

The district sent home a letter to parents Thursday night that apologized and said the loss of any student is tragic.