CBS 7 out of Odessa, Texas is reporting that the coach of the Seagraves Lady Eagles basketball team, Renda Williams, has resigned after accusations of texting while driving a school bus with her basketball team on board.
A photograph of Coach Williams in the bus driver’s seat holding a cell phone is apparently circulating throughout the Seagraves community. However, CBS 7 reports that it is unclear whether the bus was moving when the photo was taken.
The background to this story may explain why this story may have led to Coach Williams resignation. It isn’t just that texting while driving a school bus is dangerous, it is also important to note that not too long ago, one of the high school students, Alex Marie Brown, was killed in a texting and driving crash.
Alex Marie Brown was killed on November 10, 2010 in Lubbock, Texas after her truck rolled and she was ejected from the truck. Investigators said she was driving above the speed limit and was not wearing a seat belt at the time of the accident. In addition, her cell phone record indicated that she had replied to a text message moments before losing control of the vehicle.
Alex Marie Brown was a senior at Seagraves High School in Wellman, Texas, and was apparently very involved in a number of school programs including FFA, FCA, FTA, Basketball, Cheerleading, OneAct Play, the Leadership Team, the Kairos Prison Ministry and the Drama Ministry with the Youth Group at Calvary Baptist Church.
As a result of their daughter’s death, the Brown’s founded Buckle Up and Stop Texting (B.U.S.T.). B.U.S.T. is a program to educate youth and adults of dangers associated with texting and driving.
The School Superintendent, Kevin Spiller told CBS 7, “We don’t know if she was texting and driving. We have no idea but she decided to resign and we accepted her resignation.” Williams refers to her resignation as basketball coach, but while she is now on paid leave, Coach Williams remains a teacher with the district.
Regardless of the reasons why the coach has resigned, this report shows how the climate has changed over the past couple of years towards texting while driving. The behavior is clearly seen as a dangerous behavior, and one that is especially inappropriate for drivers of buses, subway cars, and 18 wheelers. It also shows how texting while driving can affect someone’s job and how some employers are starting to take the issue just as serious as allegations of driving while intoxicated.