Coahoma Students Pledge to Stop Texting While Driving

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

COAHOMA-- 17-year-old Alex Brown died in a rollover wreck in November.  Officials say she was texting and driving and wasn't wearing her seatbelt.

Everyone does it, from young and old alike.  But it's like her parents say, it's the choices you make in life that determine your destiny.

"It was her choice to do that, to speed and not wear a seat belt and text, all the bad choices she made the day she died.  That was what took her life.  It was just a series of bad choices," Alex's father, Johnny Mac Brown, said.

Speaking to over 200 Coahoma High School students, Jeanne Brown held up her daughter's cell phone to prove a point.  It was the same cell phone Alex was texting on, the morning of November 10th, when she lost control, rolled, and was thrown from her truck.

"She did not have to die.  She could still be here today if she had not made the choice to text and drive.  If this can save anyone's life, we want to use this to do that," she said.

Jeanne, a teacher in Seagraves, says the problems teens face now have stayed the same throughout the years.  It's technology, like cell phones and texting that's changed, "Used to, we had to wait until we got home to make a phone call, to visit with our friends after school.  Now they text in class to each other, sitting across the aisle from each other."

Coahoma Superintendent Randy Brown has a double interest in bringing this message to his students, "Alex Brown was my niece.  We want them to think twice when they get into a vehicle.  We want them to buckle up and if they receive a text message, we want them to think twice about that, before they accept it or before they send a text message."

With the help of the NBC affiliate in Lubbock, the Browns are encouraging students and adults alike, to make a pledge, buckle up and stop texting.

According to Johnny Mac, "There's no law that says you can't text and drive, so it's a personal pledge when you sign that.  It's basically saying that I'm not going to do that."

Superintendent Brown has high hopes for his students, "I think it really hit home with them and I think they were genuinely moved by the presentation today and paid attention."

The Browns ask only one thing, if you sign the pledge, mean it.  If not, consider this, "Hopefully, we can get the message out and people won't have to have a personal tragedy in their life, for it to make an impact," Randy commented.

Jeanne adds, "If that text message is important, stop the car and get it.  But stop texting and driving."