No Text is Worth a Death


Alex Snow, Reporter

You may have noticed the banners and signs all over the school. You may have heard the phrases repeated on the announcements. You may even have seen people wearing the blue wristbands proclaiming that no text is worth a death. These are all part of a campaign against distracted driving, lead by DECA.

DECA often does projects centered around current events. “We were always going to do a DECA project against something that was very prevalent in today’s society,” DECA member Lihn Lee says. “So we were brainstorming what really affects high school students in this generation, and so we came up with texting and driving.”

The wristbands and the pledge weren’t the only means of spreading awareness that DECA used. They also used banners and signs. “We use a lot of social media,” Lee says. “We promoted a whole bunch of it on social media, and we also spoke at… the winter sports assembly, and then during the Bearzaar we had a table, so that kind of reached more of the community members.”

People signed the pledge for a variety of reasons. “I think they’re trying to help change what is happening in society today, because it is an issue and by signing the pledge you are agreeing not to text and drive,” Lee says. “Every single time a person pledges, they’re devoting their life to help change.” However, not everybody signed it to help change society, as senior Daniel Sparkman reports. “I pretty much did it for the free candy. I don’t think I would have done it if they didn’t have free candy.” Word of mouth was also an effective means of spreading awareness. “I told them to,” Sparkman says, “I incentivised, I said, ‘hey, they have candy, you should sign it.”

The pledge ended up being signed by about eleven hundred people. “We did it at the Bearzaar,” Lee states, “so we had community members sign it, and then at our school we had eight hundred members sign it during lunches.” Olympia High school also wasn’t the only school with students that signed this pledge. “We also had River Ridge and Capital be a part of the campaign, and they got around three hundred to four hundred signatures at their schools. Even people who didn’t sign the pledge thought it was a good thing. “I don’t see any downsides, it’s pretty cool,” junior Zachary Jones says.

Texting and driving is a serious problem, and can lead to bad experiences. Sparkman explains, “You shouldn’t text and drive, it’s dangerous. People who haven’t been driving for very long, or haven’t had negative experiences driving, aren’t aware of how dangerous it is. Not texting and driving is at least one step you can take to avoid a bad experience like getting in an accident and getting hurt, or hurting somebody else.”

Success of a campaign like this isn’t something that can be measured all that easily. “We didn’t have a way that we wanted to measure the success of our campaign,” Lee says. “It was just if we impacted at least one person, we knew that the campaign was going to be a success.” from appearances, a lot more than one person was impacted. Lee continues, “We had so many parents coming up to us at the Bearzaar, saying thank you for doing this, this needed to happen. We also got comments on the Facebook page from parents, and they were just very thankful that we did it, so that’s how we measured our success.” By Lihn’s criteria, this Program DECA lead against distracted driving was a success.