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YME students get a lesson on distracted driving

December 20, 2012
By Steve Browne , Marshall Independent

GRANITE?FALLS -?Yellow Medicine East sixth-grade teacher Stacy Hinz likes stand-up comedy, and Thursday afternoon she got a chance to try out some routines for sixth- through 12th-graders, but there was a sense of grim purpose under the joking.

"It's about distracted driving," Hinz said. "They are out-of-control about this stuff as much as they lie and say they're not."

Seventh period at school was devoted to a presentation on the dangers of distracted driving, presented in skits by sixth-graders, and a music video with their own words set to the tune of "It's Time" by the group Imagine Dragons.

"We're showing people you shouldn't be texting and driving because it could cost a life," said sixth-grader Crystal Cunningham.

To make the point, Hinz asked everyone who had texted while driving within the past year to stand up.

"I think I can count roughly 10 kids who weren't standing," Hinz said. "I'll be honest, I have myself and I felt terrible. But even if you're not a driver, you have to say something. We're all worried about you. We're worried you're going to die in an accident or you're going to kill one of us to be perfectly honest. My students are telling me you're bringing them to school and you're texting, posting, chatting and whatever."

Hinz asked all the students to go home, log on to the Yellow Medicine East website and sign a pledge never to text and drive again.

Part of the slide show presentation was a paraphrase of Plato, "Smart kids text because they have something to say; fools text because they have to say something."

Robin Henderson works at YME and is a member of the Kiwanis, which helped sponsor the project.

"I do think it's a problem," Henderson said, "and I think she's on the right track. I think it's great the sixth-graders did the show, they don't drive - but they see it done."



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