• Indiana High School Presents TLLM

    By TextLess Live More | Posted Friday, April 12th, 2019

Greensburg Community High School SADD Chapter Invite The Levitans to Share Merritt's Story and TextLess Live More to support April's Distracted Driving Month

Student and Community Leaders Attend Event at Local High School

Greensburg Community High School SADD Chapter hosted Rich and Anna Cheshire Levitan on Wednesday, April 10 at a community-wide event to honor April’s Distracted Driving Month. GCHS SADD Chapter President Molli Hurley met the Levitans at the SADD National Convention in Washington, D.C. in June 2018. Inspired by their story, Hurley, with support from her SADD Chapter and GCHS School leadership, invited the Levitans, parents of Merritt Levitan, an 18-year old recent high school graduate, killed by a distracted driver in July 2013, to come to Greensburg to speak about the dangers of distracted driving.

“We are here because we care about you, Greensburg Community High School, and everyone in the community of Greensburg and the state of Indiana,” said Anna Cheshire Levitan, Merritt’s mother.  “We come to share our story of personal loss and tragedy during April’s distracted driving month so none of you have to experience what Rich, Hunter, Joe and I – and all of Merritt’s family and friends – have suffered due to four seconds of texting.”

Anna Cheshire Levitan, mother of Merritt Levitan, an 18 year old recent high school graduate, killed by a distracted driver in July 2013

Rich Levitan, President of TextLess Live More, shared the genesis of TextLess Live More and how it was created by Merritt’s peers at Milton Academy in 2013 in the aftermath of her loss as a way to recognize and combat the real consequences of distracted driving. Levitan shared that on the first TextLess Live More Day in the fall of 2013, the entire school community at Milton Academy turned off their phones and left them off for the school day – to show how important Merritt’s life was – to try to ‘re-learn’ how to live responsibly with a device that can kill in just four seconds when used behind-the-wheel.

“TextLess Live More was started by students like yourselves who care and recognized the real and dangerous consequences of distracted driving. They asked the question ‘how can we, the Digital Generation, end distracted driving?’ said Levitan.

Richard Levitan, father of Merritt Levitan, and President of TextLess Live More at Greensburg Community High School.

The Levitans presented the TextLess Live More Get Creative video, filmed at 2018 the SADD National Convention, to encourage students to have the discussion and get creative with their peers to raise awareness and find real solutions to the dangers of digital distraction.

The evening closed with a Q&A from the audience with questions that ranged from ‘are your children Hunter and Joe involved’ – yes, very – (See Press from Hunter Levitan and Press from Joe Levitan’s advocacy on behalf of their sister Merritt) to ‘how can we change laws in the state of Indiana’ (Contact your local representatives and hold an event to raise awareness).

A GCHS student came forward to thank the Levitans for sharing their story as a victim of a distracted driving accident herself, saying that the night’s program was personal.

 

 

L-R Back: Sgt. Tyler Thompson, of the Indiana National Guard, Richard Levitan, President of TextLess Live More, GCHS School Superintendent Tom Hunter, Greensburg Mayor Dan Manus, Autumn Nicoletti, Program Manager, Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Youth and Safety Program, GCHS SADD student Bryce McCullough, GCHS SADD Co-Sponsor/GCHS SRO Jared McCalvin, SADD Student Ben Bausback; L-R Front: Nicholas Messer, GCHS SADD Co-sponsor, SADD Students Kierra Cooney and Bailey Menkedick, GCHS SADD President Molli Hurley, Anna Cheshire Levitan, SADD Student Kae-Lynn Lowe. 

The evening began with a dinner in the school cafeteria where the Levitans were introduced to the GCHS SADD Chapter student leadership team, GCHS SADD Co-sponsor Nicholas Messer, GCHS school superintendent Tom Hunter and school principal Grant Peters, and community supporters, including Greensburg Mayor Dan Manus, Chief of Police Brendan Bridges, Sgt. Tyler Thompson of the Indiana National Guard, and Rob Duckworth and Autumn Nicoletti from the Indiana Criminal Justice Institute Youth and Safety Department. Before moving to the high school auditorium for the evening’s presentation, SADD students presented the Levitans with flowers and honorary GCHS SADD shirts.

GCHS SADD present the Levitans, who had travelled from Georgia earlier in the day to attend the event, with honorary GCHS SADD shirts and flowers.