Sometimes the hardest lessons in life come from experience and pain.
A simple “don’t touch the stove” to a curious child is almost an invitation. But on a second encounter “don’t touch the stove or you’ll get burned again” means much more because the child remembers the pain and the burn.
As parents and grandparents, we want our children to listen to our words and avoid any serious injury. And as parents and grandparents, we also understand that a willful child probably won’t.
But unlike little fingers that get burnt on a stove, which can heal with a little TLC and a bit of salve, there are some mistakes and accidents a child can’t recover from. There are choices our children make as they advance to the teenage years that can have lifelong consequences.
These are the kinds of bad choices with no second chances.
As the prom and graduation season approaches, we tell our children not to break the underage drinking laws. We tell them not to drink and drive. We tell them never to get into a car with someone who has been drinking alcohol or using drugs. We tell them to wear their seat belts. We tell them to make good decisions.
But in far too many cases, just one lapse in judgment, just one moment in time when all the lessons we’ve taught them escape them in a blur of peer pressure in the wee hours of the morning after too many drinks, could be the moment we lose a child to a fatal accident. It could be the moment we lose a child to the legal system. It could be the moment they lose their future and any chance of achieving the goals they’ve set for themselves.
That’s not a lesson to be learned. They never get a second chance to avoid the bad decisions they’ve made to see an alternate outcome.
We applaud Marion County Emergency Services’ recent mock DUI accident held at Fairmont Senior High School and two more scheduled for East Fairmont and North Marion high schools. The Fairmont Fire Department, the Marion County Rescue Squad and the Fairmont City Police Department participated in the re-enactment to show the students step by step what could happen if someone chooses to drink and operate a vehicle. While we hope our children never have to experience the consequences of drinking and driving firsthand, as FSHS driver’s education teacher Bob Costelac said, the simulation “is as close to reality as you could possibly get.”
The presentation showed the process from when an accident happens all the way to arresting someone for driving under the influence. Students were taken outside to a car that had been wrecked prior to the event, with three individuals in the accident. One FSHS student played the driver of the wrecked vehicle and another student played the passenger while a young boy played the driver’s little brother. In the re-enactment, the driver’s brother was killed in the accident and the passenger was seriously injured. The driver was taken for a field sobriety test and was arrested for drinking and driving.
Maddison Bowen, a junior at FSHS who played the driver in the re-enactment, said even though she knew it wasn’t real, it felt like she had just gotten in an accident.
“All the noises and what the people were saying, it was terrifying,” she said.
We hope that like Bowen, the upperclassmen who witness the accident simulation take something away. We hope that when choices are being made, the visual memory of the crashed car, the child being cut from the vehicle by emergency workers, the lights and sirens of the police car all come to mind. And we hope that makes decisions a little easier during prom and graduation season and long after.
Sometimes the hardest lessons in life come from experience and pain.
Why should IRS employees having compliance issues receive rewards?
There are certain issues that happen in our government that occur with no rhyme nor reason and probably raise the eyebrows of many thousands — let’s make that millions — of Americans who wonder about the same thing. It certainly corrodes the faith of the American people.
Laws to keep mudslinging to minimum can stife free speech
By nature, and by profession, we do not like lies. As journalists, we’re truth tellers. Or at least we attempt to get at the truth through research, attribution, documents and comments from people on either side of an issue.
Sometimes it ends up with “telling lies from both sides,” as a crusty reporter once mused a handful of years ago.
COLUMN: Freedom of Information — if you can pay
Several years ago, I made a Freedom of Information request to a local government agency. Within the five business days, as required by law, a packet of information was delivered to the office. I expected a bill, as most government offices have a charge that ranges from 25 cents to $1.25 per page for copies of the documents we request.
The reassuring spirit of Easter: One of new hope and beginnings
During the sub-zero and snow-filled months of winter, we maintained a spirit of hope that spring was on the way. It has now become a reality as all nature stretches and yawns and awakens once more to a new beginning. The fragrance of spring awakens our waiting nostrils, the budding beauty of new life brightens our eyes, and the reassuring idea of renewal stimulates our minds.
Unsung heroes handling calls in emergencies are appreciated
Thankfully, we live in a community where help is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, just by dialing three numbers — 9-1-1.
During this week, which is recognized as National Public Safety Tele-Communicator’s Week nationwide, we need to remember that on the other end of that line are the men and women here in this county who are always there in case of accident, crimes, medical emergencies and any other catastrophic event.
Message to ‘buckle up and park the phone’ is saving lives
A figure that we haven’t seen that much in recent years is the highway death toll for a given period.
Is the death toll up, down or just about the same as it was?
The West Virginia Southern Regional Highway Safety Program has announced there were 325 highway fatalities in 2013, the second-lowest number on record.
State native Burwell can ‘deliver results’ as Health and Human Services secretary
Sylvia Mathews Burwell might not be a name with which most people are immediately familiar.
For the past year, she has run the budget office under President Barack Obama.
Prior to that, she served as president of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s Global Development Program and later the Wal-Mart Foundation.
Marion scores well in recent health report but could do better
When it comes to area-wide studies, especially on health, there’s usually good news and bad news.
So was the recent report on the health of America’s counties released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation recently. The nationwide county study evaluated health outcomes and health factors, and ranked counties accordingly.
COLUMN: ‘Instant’ news not always reliable
That little word has a pretty big meaning. With origins that date back to the 15th century, it means urgent, current, immediate.
But think about how that word has developed over the past few decades.
Instant pudding. Instead of slaving over a hot stove for a few minutes, you can now pour cold milk and with a bit of stirring, instant pudding!
Decision to be an organ donor can save lives
Chelsea Clair watched as her father died waiting for a bone marrow transplant.
So when she met Kyle Froelich at a car show in 2009 and heard about his struggles to find a kidney that would match his unique needs, she never hesitated to offer hers to the man she just met.
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