Local News

Teen-produced PSA warns about 'choking game'

Posted March 17, 2009 10:01 p.m. EDT
Updated March 18, 2009 8:02 a.m. EDT

— A Raleigh high school student is trying to warn teenagers about the dangers of the "choking game" that killed her childhood friend.

Kris Marceno, a sophomore at Enloe High School, died Nov. 2 playing the "choking game" in which someone asphyxiates himself or herself or chokes a friend to the point of passing out. The oxygen deprivation is believed to produce a euphoric high.

Raleigh Charter High School sophomore Sarah Huck wrote, directed and is producing a public service announcement to highlight the dangers of the "choking game."

Marceno, 15, had tied an electrical cord around his neck and attached the end to a bunk bed.

"In three minutes of playing this game, you can have sufficient brain damage – and in four minutes you can die," Huck said.

"He was funny, outgoing, the life of the party, a great son," Bobbi Jo Marceno said of her son.

His mother said she never suspected her son of trying to play such a dangerous game, but said his friends have since told her they even try to choke each other at school.

"Kids at school had seen him do it, playing around at school," she said.

Huck's "What Can You Do in 3 Minutes?" aims to serve as a lesson to other teens while raising awareness about the "choking game" among parents.

"Hopefully, it will save some kids. And the parents will watch it and maybe there are some signs that their kids are doing it," Huck said.

Huck's production team donated their time and talents to the effort. The PSA was cast with teenage actors, many of whom were friends of Kris.

Huck hopes local TV stations will air the PSA, and she also plans to post it on YouTube.com and Facebook.com upon completion in mid-May.

According to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 82 youths nationwide have died since 1995 while playing the "choking game." Most of the victims were teenage boys.