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Hardin-Jefferson HS campaigns against texting while driving
SOUR LAKE - by Lauren Huet
This week is national No Texting and Driving Week. Over 3,000 teenagers are killed each year from texting and driving. An activity which kills more teenagers than drinking and driving. Despite the apparent dangers, 48 percent of teens admit to texting and driving.
Hardin-Jefferson High School is campaigning against texting and driving. They showed students a graphic video that re-enacted a car accident caused by the driver texting. Five people were killed, including the driver's two best friends. The driver survived.
"I didn't think it could happen to someone my age," said Student Council Vice President Maris Briggs. "I didn't think it could happen to a group of friends just driving and being goofy."
The school asked for parents' permission to show students the video, which the school principal, Dr. Diana Valdez, hopes will make an impression on students.
"Texting and driving now is causing more fatalities in teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 than drinking and driving," said Dr. Valdez. "It is killing 11 teenagers a day."
To represent those 11 teenagers, 11 Hardin-Jefferson High School students wore all black, red signs reading "I was killed because of texting and driving," and didn't speak all day.
"You know you don't talk all day," said Senior Class President Harrison Swift. "And when people want to talk to you you don't talk because you want them to know you're representing a student that's been killed from texting and driving."
The school's Resource Officer said texting and driving is more dangerous than people think.
"When you're texting and you look at your text," said Officer Stacy Fountain, "whether you're sending a message or receiving a message, the five seconds that you look down at your phone is like driving down the football field fifty miles an hour blindfolded."
Hundreds of students signed a pledge promising not to text and drive. They received thumb rings with the message: "texting kills."