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Ditch and arroyo safety lessons not taught in all schools

Updated: 08/14/2014 10:27 PM | Created: 08/14/2014 9:14 PM
By: Danielle Todesco, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There have been two dramatic arroyo rescues in Albuquerque this week in which people in dry ditches were caught in floods within minutes.  

It is a warning that kids have been taught since the 1980's.  But that message has evolved over the years, and it's not being taught to all New Mexico students.

The campaign started in 1983 with the "Ditch Witch", a scary tale that served as a warning to stay out of the ditches and arroyos.  It has now evolved to "Ditch the Ditches."

Tom Thorpe, with the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District, says it's up to the schools and teachers to request a ditch danger lesson.

"They utilize it, but it is not part of the curriculum.  So it's not taught in all the classes, or at a certain grade level, or anything like that," Thorpe said.

Thorpe says the lessons cover about 60 to 80% of APS schools.


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