Kelly: compassion for victimsBy Walter Kelly
I find it very hard to understand the logic of the San Mateo Union High School District when they resumed classes at Capuchino High School in San Bruno on Friday, Sept. 10, when the San Bruno Park Elementary School District suspended classes due to the massive fire in the Crestmoor district of San Bruno where a good percentage of students have friends, fellow students, relatives, or for that matter, live themselves.
When I called Capuchino and the San Mateo School District that morning to inquire if classes would resume, the answer was yes. When I asked whether a child would be charged with an unexcused absence if he or she missed school that day, the answer was yes.
When I dropped my child off at Capuchino High School's courtyard, the atmosphere was one of gloom. One could see the sorrow on the students' faces, yet Capuchino elected to remain open for classes. Granted, the school had crisis counselors on hand; but they should have suspended classes for the day so each student could deal with the disaster in his or her own way and then reopen Monday with counselors present.
At noon, a good number of students went home to deal with the crisis in their own way. An assembly was held and most students asked the question "Why are we here?" Perhaps you have heard of or saw on TV the young man who is in critical condition at St. Francis Hospital who watched his girlfriend burn to death. He is a good friend of my child.
How do you think he felt when he had to report to school on Friday? The lack of compassion displayed to students and parents is in my opinion a travesty and a slap in the face to the community of San Bruno. I am sure that the powers that be would not hesitate for one moment to take a day off without any consequences or negative remarks on their records if they were to experience such a tragedy.
What were they thinking?
Copyright ©2010 San Mateo Daily Journal. Published 09/17/2010.