Byron Schools Challenge Stewartville in Anti-Texting and Driving Campaign

Posted at: 09/18/2013 10:52 PM
Updated at: 09/18/2013 11:05 PM
By: Steph Crock

(ABC 6 News) -- Two schools in our area are competing to see who can get the most pledges against texting and driving. The Byron School District was approached by AT&T to join a contest against texting and driving. Byron schools chose Stewartville to be their rival in the challenge.

Though it sounds like a fun game, the goal is to spread an important message, that texting and driving could cost you your life. At Byron High School has seen firsthand how dangerous this can be. As many may remember, we were at the scene of the accident almost exactly one year ago. Byron High School student DeeJ Logan was leaving her first day of senior year, and was killed after crashing into a school bus. DeeJ had been texting behind the wheel.

Right after school in broad daylight, the crash took senior DeeJ Logan's life. It’s been one year and some of those wounds haven't fully healed. "It was just hard seeing all of the seniors or her classmates who were really close to her and didn't really get the chance to say goodbye," said Margaret Silhasek.

Following the crash, DeeJ's family got the courage to tell their daughters story to area schools, reminding students that texting and driving can kill. “It definitely opens people’s eyes to a new situation that can happen anytime,” said sophomore Emma Nelson.

Byron High School has made a strong effort to continue to spread that message. “Anytime there's a loss, there's going to be a heightened awareness of that situation and that tragedy," said teacher Tara Dunken, so when approached about a pledge to stop texting and driving, it was a challenge they were ready to take on.

"It's definitely been a big part of why we're pledging so much," said Silhasek

"Even if we didn’t know her, just the loss of a fellow classmate makes it a lot more important for us to do it," said senior Anne Christofferson.

How does it work? “Both schools have the texting phone number and then each of us have our own code and so the Byron kids have the Byron code and they try and enter that in as many times as they want to throughout these five days," said Dunken.

 "Every time we get spare time, just text in the code," said Christofferson.

So be it between classes, at lunch, after school… “They have taken on this cause 100 percent and are doing very well,” said Dunken.

The pledges will be tallied upon Friday, then at the Stewartville/Byron football game this Friday, they'll announce the winner at half time. The president of AT&T is said to be there to give the winning school a plaque. Plus, we're told the winning principal gets to prank the loosing principal.