College Student in Burning House Calls Parents — Not 911

Hi Readers: Please don’t think I’m posting this as a “blame the victim” story, as I myself don’t know if I’d keep my wits about me in a fire. The story, nonetheless, is this: A house shared by seven members of Boston University’s Sigma Alpha Mu went up in flames on Sunday morning:

BU Police Chief Thomas Robbins says his department received a call from a parent of one of the students in the apartment, whose first response was to call home. Robbins says he hopes that students learn to make their first and immediate call to 911 or to the BUPD at 617-353-2121. “We’ve got to get our number on the students’ radar,” he says. “It’s great that this person called a parent, but people in danger should call us first, then call a parent.”

I do fear that some kids may be so accustomed to calling their parents in times of distress that they don’t realize that their parents can’t solve every problem. It’s a shocking and sad reminder to teach our kids to depend on their wits and their community, not just mom and dad.

Meantime, I dearly hope the person who is in critical condition pulls through and lives a long and happy life. This story has me so sad. – L.

Call us first!

You Will Love This! Yay, Kid!

A five-year-old calls 911 when her daddy can’t breathe. Here’s the story, as seen on the Bonnie Hunt Show. A reminder to all of us:

1 – Teach your kids about 911.

2 – Remember what kids are capable of! They can rise to the occasion! (Let’s just hope the kid doesn’t get her own reality show and end up all weird.) — Lenore

What’s So Strange About This Article?

To me — everything. Here it is. It’s about a 12-year-old, new to the neighborhood on his first day of school, who missed the bus home. He and his friend started walking, apparently got lost (the reference to Fred Myer is a local grocery), and pretty soon the entire town — police, Boys & Girls Club, everyone — was on high alert for the missing boys.

I love the idea of community invovlement, but I’ve got all these questions, starting with: The kid had a cell phone. Why didn’t he call? If it was a new phone and he was unfamiliar with it, why didn’t he ask someone to help him use it? Why didn’t the school, where he went after he missed his bus, call his parents or help him get home? And why is a 12-year-old who is temporarily AWOL a news story? Are we so convinced abductions are happening all the time that when a child is NOT abducted, that’s considered news? 

Anyway, I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there is something very strange about this story. If you can figure it out, clue me in. Meantime, a thank you to Free-Range Kids reader Nancy, who sent it in, with the comment: “It blows me away that there would be this level of worry over a 12 year old missing his bus in a safe residential neighborhood (without even any busy streets!) When I was 12 I had already held down a summer job for 3 years.”

Hmmm. — Lenore