Moffat County High School teacher Craig Conrad thought he had the perfect wrap-up to teach students a lesson this week about steering clear of drugs and alcohol.
In the works was an inspiring presentation, complete with a kicker ending of a live phone call into Wyoming State Penitentiary to talk with Clint Haskins, a former MCHS student who is serving time for a 2001 drunken-driving incident in which his pickup collided head-on with a Jeep Wagoneer.
Haskins pleaded guilty to eight counts of aggravated vehicular homicide stemming from the accident, which killed eight members of the University of Wyoming cross-country team.
Because of a recent stabbing incident with some inmates at the prison in Rawlins, authorities have locked down the complex and aren't allowing the live phone interview that had been scheduled for Friday, Conrad said.
Haskins was not involved or injured in the stabbing incident, Conrad said.
"I'm defiantly going to make it happen," Conrad said Monday. "I'm more determined now than ever. We just got to wait and find out when after it gets back to normal."
Conrad said he hopes to reschedule the event as soon as possible. He had lined up three other presentations with other schools that had to be canceled because of the stabbing. A news crew from CBS was scheduled to tape the MCHS event, Conrad said.
Conrad has traveled to other schools with his program "Unstoppable You" since 1993. For the past 20 years, the woodshop teacher has taken at least a few minutes each Friday to relay an inspiring story or demonstrate to his students how life is better drug and alcohol-free. But Friday's program may have had the potential to hit home harder, Conrad said, because students could hear firsthand the effects of life in prison from the 1998 MCHS graduate.
"It's called the 'Unstoppable You,' but it's only being delayed," Conrad said.
At the end of each presentation, Conrad said he asks students to shake his hand as a symbol of pledging to become drug- and alcohol-free.
To date, Conrad said he has shaken the hands of 71,657 students.
Still, he soon plans to add about 700 handshakes. That should happen after a rescheduled presentation.
"In a way, it will build even more suspense," he said.
"Our kids need to hear this. Now the bummer is telling them it won't happen on Friday."