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U46, D300 Schools Battle Against Texting And Driving

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Texting While Driving

(CBS File Photo)

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ELGIN, Ill. (STMW) – There was the girl whose truck clipped a median and flipped, ejecting and killing her. There was the teenage boy whose car slammed into and killed a bicyclist.

The boy who was severely brain damaged when the car he was riding in hit a tree.

The girl who was killed when her car went over the side of an embankment the day before her high school graduation.

These were four teenagers whose lives changed forever, in an instant, all because of a text message: “Yeah.” “LOL.” “Where R…” “Where U At.”

These were teenagers who appeared in the 10-minute documentary “It Can Wait,” produced by AT&T ­— teenagers with whom students at Bartlett High School could relate, according to Bartlett Principal Suzanne Colombe.

Teenagers whose stories encouraged those students to pledge not to text while driving after they were shown the documentary this fall at school, Colombe said.

And on Friday, that commitment against texting and driving earned Bartlett High School $1,000 for its after-school programs.The school finished second among schools in Chicago’s collar counties in collecting pledges against texting and driving, part of AT&T’s nationwide “It Can Wait” campaign.

“It will help us to provide our students ways to be involved positively at Bartlett High School,” Colombe said. “Certainly, we’ve realized it should be a focus, and we will continue to promote this campaign and show our students the dangers of distracted driving.”

Bartlett students aren’t the only ones in Elgin School District U46 committed to the campaign: Larkin High School in Elgin also was awarded $1,000 in a raffle for all schools that viewed the documentary.

And H.D. Jacobs High School in Algonquin, part of nearby Community Unit School District 300, took third place in the campaign.

“The message of ‘no texting while driving’ is important for our youngest drivers and is a reminder for all of us to be responsible when we’re behind the wheel,” U46 Superintendent Jose Torres said in a written statement.

Adlai E. Stevenson High School in Lincolnshire took first place in the campaign. A total 150 Illinois schools had signed up to participate, according to U46.

© Sun-Times Media Wire Chicago Sun-Times 2012. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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