Many of you heard about the school bus accident in Tennessee that left six children between the ages of 6-10 dead. If not, here is a recap:
A 24-year-old bus driver allegedly lost control of the vehicle and through swerving hit a raised driveway, a mailbox, a guardrail, and a tree. The police say he was speeding so fast that the impact of hitting the tree caused the bus to almost fold in half. There was no alcohol or drugs in his system but the police say he was speeding down an unauthorized bus route. The driver, who had received complaints in the past for his driving, is facing six counts of vehicular homicide, reckless endangerment, and reckless driving.
The situation in itself is sad and heartbreaking and could have been avoided but the fact I want to focus on are comments made by the driver’s mother. The driver called his mother after the accident to tell her what happened and she, in turn, asked for compassion for her son.
No matter what ill feelings people have towards the driver, at the end of the day he is someone’s father and someone’s son. While I understand the mother’s pleas, I would think she would be more sympathetic to how these other mothers and fathers are feeling now that they have to bury their babies.
The driver’s mother went on to say, “My heart of love is going out for all that was in harm’s way of God’s will. Sending out mine and our condolences to every family that God touched yesterday in this horrible accident. And I am asking for compassion also for my son.”
The problem with this statement is that she is taking the blame away from her son, and putting it in the hand of God and His will. God knows everything that is going to happen before it happens but thankfully He gives us the power of choice and the gift of wisdom. It was not God that got behind the wheel of the bus. God did not purposely go over the speed limit. God did not put the lives of 37 babies in danger. So God should not be the one shouldering the blame for why six children lost their lives and dozens more suffered injuries.
As parents, our first instinct is to come to the defense of our child. We see the good in them and normally refuse to believe things we may hear from other people. However, we are doing them a grave disservice if we do not hold them accountable for their actions. It is our job to teach our children that every action has a consequence and it is important for them to stand up and accept those consequences.