Thursday, June 14, 2007

What's Wrong With This Picture?

Out of Baytown, near Houston , comes this tragic story of 4 teenagers killed at an unlit railroad crossing. A terrible tragedy for sure, but as I read into the story I found something highly disturbing.
The victims died instantly early Thursday when the stolen SUV they were in slammed into a parked train.

It happened at a crossing at Archer Road and Fleming around 3:30 a.m

The 4 teenagers killed in this horrible accident were 14, 14, 13 and 12. Three of them were females.

What in the world were two 14 year old girls and one 12 year old girl doing out at 3:30 in the morning riding around in a stolen SUV??? Where were the parents of these children? One of them had snuck out, but what about the other 3?

The community, and in particular some of the parents of those killed, are blaming the railroad company for having an unlit railroad crossing, but the fact of the matter is, these kids were out when they shouldn't have been, doing things they shouldn't have been doing.

What a stupid, senseless tragedy. I for one would favor the death penalty for the driver, if he survives.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

I agree with you. It not just the age of the kids and the time they were joy riding, but "they stole" a car.

Mike said...

Come now. As a frequent poster on a variety of ed-blogs, I'm always dismayed when educators proclaim that all responsibility for learning is invested in teachers, none whatsoever in students and their parents. If serious educators can absolve kids and their parents of all responsibility for learning, why not for everything else as well? Surely, it must be the railroad's fault, that, or President Bush, who didn't force the railroad to light that crossing.

"Ms. Cornelius" said...

And I'll bet no one has asked the parents what their children were doing out at 3:30 in the morning either. Because that would help point out that their children being dead might have been preventable first of all if they had acted like parents.

And Other mike, I wouldn't call George Bush or Ms. Spellings "Educators"-- and they're the ones I see saying it is all on the teachers' shoulders.

Kimberly said...

I'm in Houston. I understand No-one wants to speak ill of the dead but - these kids and the driver (15 yo I believe) stole a car, go joy riding, speed, and crash into a train. Did they have seatbelts on? I'm betting they didn't.

They were from the area - how did they not know there was a crossing there. I still start to brake and look both ways for trains at crossings that are long gone.

The RR company is not responsible for this tragedy. The crossing met all state and federal requirements.

One of the fathers was on the news, and said his daughter made a tragic mistake.

Another father was screaming at a representative of the RR company, but the man lost either a daughter or 2 daughters (the coverage has gone back and forth). I'm willing to cut him some slack.

The representative seemed to be stunned, but was handling himself with compassion and grace. I think he had been talking to someone else, maybe a news reporter, saying crossing met all the requirements, when the father over heard and reacted.

I say let the families grieve. If they want to turn their grief into activism, and try to have these rural crossings lit - hey this is a democracy.

If they sue the RR - I hope the RR company wins, but they will probably settle.

Anonymous said...

I'm sure the pathetic parenting skills have something to do with the mom of the car thief giving birth to him at about age 16. Probably too busy being his buddy instead of his mother.

Mike (the other) said...

Dear Ms. C:

I would not call Ms. Spellings or President Bush educators either, but I routinely see, and correspond with, educators who do espouse, without qualification or any apparent sense of irony, the idea that students and parents have no responsibility in the education process. They are careful to express it from the opposite side-- teachers are wholly responsible--but the implication and result are the same.

My reference to President Bush was merely to make the point that some folk are so anxious to escape reponsibility for their own actions that they'll blame everyone and everything else, as so many currently do regarding the President. He has even been blamed for the weather has he not? And by the way, I don't recall mentioning The Queen of All Testing, but I am getting older...where are my car keys again?

Anonymous said...

Everyone who agreed with the writer if this is so wrong. its not about poor parenting skills. i bet your kids have left the house at night a time or two as well. Also i doubt Mrs. Windham, an excellent teacher, has bad parenting skills. The parents kept up with them but EVERYONE SLEEPS! This wouldn't have happened if the train had signals. so stop all this non-since about who did what wrong and right.