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Schools promote 'Thumbs Down' campaign against texting and driving

May 1, 2017

By LISA MARCHESONI
Rutherford County Sheriff's Office

Multiple schools and education leaders have joined a statewide campaign in promoting #ThumbsDownTN to encourage drivers not to text and drive.

The campaign was endorsed by the Tennessee Highway Safety Office’s program during April, which was designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

Photographs of Walter Hill Elementary and Kittrell Elementary schools were posted on the highway safety office's website.

School Resource Officer Jeff Ver Bruggen of Walter Hill Elementary School used a drone to capture a photograph of the students formed in the shape of “thumbs down.”

Students at Kittrell Elementary School formed the “thumbs down” in the gymnasium for SRO Scott Parker.

Rutherford County Sheriff’s Office and Rutherford County Schools participated in the awareness campaign with School Resource Officers taking photographs of students with their thumbs down.

Sheriff’s leaders and the Rutherford County’s Board turned their thumbs down to join the campaign.

SRO Sgt. Bill West encouraged SROs to promote the campaign in Rutherford County Schools.

SRO Angela Istvanditsch of Barfield Elementary took photographs of the kindergarten staff showing the #ThumbsDownTN symbol to parents as they picked up their children. Many of the students drew their own signs and made posters.

Other schools participating were:

· Blackman High School as part of the pre-prom program.
· Stewartsboro archery team.
· Wilson Elementary signs and posters.
· Stewarts Creek High School’s baseball team and students.
· Middle School principals.
· Blackman Middle School students including Mr. Rooker’s history class with cutouts of President Ronald Regan and President Abe Lincoln holding the #ThumbsDownTN signs, cheerleaders and the baseball team.
 
PHOTOS:
 
(1) Students at Walter Hill form a "Thumbs Down" to discourage texting and driving. 
 
(2) Students at Kittrell Elementary School form a "Thumbs Down."
 
(3) The Rutherford County Board of Education and members of the Sheriff's Office participate in the "Thumbs Down" campaign during the April 20th School Board meeting.