Following the crowd not always right

Libby Dagit/Letter to the Editor

This letter is a result of a unit done in Brian Winkel’s American Literature: 1930 to Today class where students studied the format of Martin Luther King, Jr’s “Letter from a Birmingham Jail.” Students then used that format to create their own letters to the editor about important issues that affect teenagers today.

Dear Editors:

I am a student at Cedar Falls High School taking an English class called American Literature to the 1990’s. Mr. Winkel is my teacher and recently we have read Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Letter From a Birmingham Jail. From this letter I have learned that people need to stand up for themselves and other people, being a crowd follower can be bad and not to let anyone stand in one’s way when a cause is just.

Texting while driving is a problem that is more common in today’s world. Many people, including me, have done this before. After learning about the statistics, accidents and watching my friends text while driving, I want to put a stop to this. A 2007 study conducted by AAA and Seventeen magazine has been widely quoted that 46% of teens admit to texting while driving, but then the study found that 61% of teens admit to risky driving habits including texting. A lot of parents are concerned as are other adults and even teens. Like King said, “I would be the first to advocate obeying just laws.”

While being on the road, texting while driving can be a danger to anyone, not just the person texting. “We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” This quote from King is showing that we are all in this together and the only way we can stop texting while driving  is if we create a new law banning the practice. Just because you stop texting and don’t educate your friends about texting while driving doesn’t mean the problem will go away. We need to take action like Martin Luther King. Stand strong and march.

It is time to show everyone that this is an issue that cannot be ignored. “We had no alternative except to prepare for direct action.” Iowa needs to make a law stating that texting while driving is not safe and can’t be tolerated. The state as a whole needs to take control and try to make our citizens as safe as possible. This is just one more step that we need to take to make our roads safer.

This issue is important for everyone. Teens admit that their number one driving distraction is texting. Hearing this makes me sick. To know that over one third of all drivers under 24 are texting while driving shows that this issue is more common now more than ever.

If we do not set a law about texting while driving we are not protecting Iowans on the road. Having a law and punishing people who break this law is the most just thing we can do as a state. To let people keep texting on the road and risk people’s lives can be stopped if we take a stand. Take a stand like King did.

Standing up for yourself and your people was King’s main goal in his letter to the editors. My main goal in this letter is to show that we need to stand up for our fellow people. Letting people text and put other people’s lives in danger is unacceptable. Take a stand. Do what’s right.


Libby Dagit

CFHS student

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