Can We Give a 16-Year-Old Some Space and the System Some Time?
The Facebooks hit a fever pitch yesterday in the 507. What triggered it? This story...
(KROC-AM NEWS) A Rochester teenager was seriously injured in a traffic wreck near the former Meadow Lakes golf course last Friday afternoon. Captain Scott Behrns says 16-year-old Kaley Ketchum was driving east on Country Club Road around 4 p.m. and was passing another vehicle in a no passing zone when she saw a third car approaching.
Behrns says the teenager lost control while trying to get back into her lane and slid into the path of the oncoming car. Behrns says Ketchum’s car was hit on the passenger side and it was literally cut in half. Ketchum was apparently not using her seatbelt and was ejected. She was listed in fair condition at St. Mary’s Monday.A 73-year-old Byron woman was driving the other vehicle. She and a 13-year-old passenger suffered minor injuries.
Pretty horrific and terrifying and a million different adjectives.
Every now and then something like this comes along and it becomes surprisingly polarizing on Facebook. This is just one post (of quite a few) I found with some pretty heated comments (my thoughts after the Facebook post).
The wreck was a horrible thing and, I believe, no matter what happens with the law, she'll pay a price most of us will never understand. As far as I know there's been no mention that she will not face some sort of legal trouble, so why do so many people demand that she face consequences? If, after an investigation, she doesn't get a ticket, face court time, whatever...I can see people rising up and speaking out. But we're not even close to that point yet.
What would be lost if the people waited until the investigation was complete to speak out, especially if the conclusion ran contrary to their opinion? What would happen if we waited, let people lick their wounds, and get healthier before we attack 'em? Obviously you have the right to speak out, but do you need to speak out now?
I know many people say it was different back in the day. Years ago, "people were more patient and kind." I'm not so sure that's true. Elections certainly were just as, if not more, caustic than now (click HERE for historic election tricks and cruelty). So maybe, we're exactly the same, but with access to the world's largest megaphone.
I wish we'd use that megaphone with more care and kindness. She's sixteen. Couldn't most of us look at our past and say, "There but for the grace of God..."? I know it's true for me, and almost everyone I know.
In the office today a bunch of us recounted the things we did that could have killed us and our friends. It was rare that a story didn't involve danger to other people. But we were lucky, Really really lucky.
This isn't me asking you to forget the damage she could have caused. It's not me asking you to expect her to face no consequences. It's me asking you to give everyone involved some space, let the process play out, and be kind.