Monday, May 14, 2007

"ACCIDENTS HAPPEN"

The attitude of Manuel and Cecilia Castillio, whose son Manny was killed in a Toronto high school rugby game last week, is remarkable.

The parents of the high school rugby player fatally injured in a game last week remain adamant that charges be dropped against the offending player.
"(The opposing player) didn't take a weapon and try to fire at my son," the father said.
"He didn't take a gun or a knife and try to kill him, absolutely not. To me, it is a terrible accident. In sports, accidents happen."
The position of the Castillo's runs counter to today's regretably prevalent attitudes with regards to the danger children face in daily activities and play.

In recent years we have heard of parents making neighbourood children sign wavers before coming over to use backyard pools and trampolines. At my elementary school the play structure was dismantled and baseball bats and skipping ropes were banned on the grounds of safety concerns. This winter our paternal legislators considered making it illegal for children to toboggan without a helmet. And it is not uncommon to hear of parents suing other parents, or teachers, or school boards over far more benign circumstances than those that the Castillo's have recently suffered.

Children cannot be protected from every danger, no matter how hard their parents might try. Indeed, coddling children into a false sense of security is only going to raise a generation unprepared for the risk, danger, and harm that will always be a part of life.

Of course when tragic events occurr it is natural to want to blame someone, to hold someone accountable, and few would question the Castillo's if they were looking for someone to punish. But sometimes, despite our best efforts, accidents happen.

The attitude of the Castillo's in the face of their son's death is remarkable and commendable, and stands as an example to other parents and legislators who would go too far in trying to protect children and too far in laying blame when that protection innevitably fails.

Posted by Matthew @ 10:32 AM