By Justin Lofton
ADA — Ada High Leadership classes rallied community members to pledge not to text message while driving and won a national “X the TXT” competition by The Allstate Foundation and Channel One News.
Ali Lawson, leadership teacher and service learning coordinator, said the pledges were tallied based on percentage of school size. Leadership students set up tables and laptops outside of businesses and buildings in Ada to get people to pledge not to text and drive. In all, students got approximately 600 percent of their school population to take the pledge.
Paula Kedy, director of curriculum at AHS, said the students had to work extra hard that week to get the pledges in because school was out two days for a blizzard.
Oklahoma Insurance Commissioner John Doak visited the school March 8 to congratulate the students.
“The main issue, I think, is awareness,” he said. “We’re very proud of you.”
Lawson said Channel One would be coming to the school on May 10 to film a segment on AHS’s win. A release from The Allstate Foundation said the school will also be getting a $10,000 grant and a private concert on May 10 from Ashlyne Huff.
“AHS has a history of building safe driving programs,” said Kedy.
Lawson said the students were happy to get behind a campaign to bring awareness to the dangers of texting while driving.
“There are more accidents caused by texting and driving than drinking and driving,” Lawson said.
“This is an issue about gross negligence, but unfortunately, people still do it,” said Ada District Judge Tom Landrith. “This campaign made a lot of people aware of just how dangerous it is.”
Lawson said the students’ efforts wouldn’t have been possible without the support of Ada.