18 January 2017

Nightmare Scenario: Parade Danger

From The Advocate, our local newspaper, Child dies after being struck by float in Abbeville's Martin Luther King Day parade:
A child struck by a float during the Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade Monday in Abbeville has died.
...
Witnesses say the child was struck by the vehicle pulling the float after entering the roadway for a piece of candy or throw. No barricades were placed along the roadway during the parade.
There's a bit more to the story, with a little shaming of the mom (she was watching other children in addition to this one), but basically five paragraphs about this nightmare scenario.

I watched a story about it on one of our local TV stations last night. It was not the lead story (that went to a rash of break ins at our university's football stadium -- WTF/who cares), and it was just as short. There was a picture of the child and a bit of interview with a grieving relative. But nothing about taking steps to ensure safety of other children at future parades (we have parades so often in Louisiana it is ridiculous). There was basically no real reporting at all (in either media).

If this child were white the reporting would have been different. Lead story, more complex reporting with an eye to stopping this type of tragedy in the future. The distance of the town from Baton Rouge doesn't matter. They do huge packages about little towns when there's a sensational crime  So I can only surmise that this coverage is light because of the child's race.

There's no reporting even on the number of other children/people who have died at parades (and you know there have been others). Asking parade organizers at the upcoming Mardi Gras parades for their take on the loss and how they'll be improving safety to avoid that at their parades. That kind of thing.

I didn't think I had the capacity to care about things that aren't strictly national politics with the dumpster fire that's going on in Washington, but obviously I do. And this is awful and scary. I hate that a family has to deal with the loss of a child over candy.

10 January 2017

Second Verse, Same as the First

Jane is still not a dancer.

She has done much better in this new dance class we tried out at our local recreation park system. But there have been problems of a different sort.

Basically the teacher has a conflict in her regular job, and with traffic she can't arrive to the class on time at 5 p.m. So she moved the class start time to 5:15 p.m. She often doesn't arrive until 5:30 p.m. And then class still ends around 6 p.m. because there's an older girls' class that starts then (although she said she moved that class start time to 6:15 p.m. too). Some of the older girls start arriving at 5:45, which means Jane's class can be as short as 15 minutes without any distraction.

Jane's unable to show me too much of what she's learned. She enjoyed the class though. There was supposed to be a parent watch evening, but we never even got to do that because the teacher was THAT disorganized. I'm disappointed to have put more time and effort into this and still have no photos or recital experience to show for it. But we're moving on.

(And of course I'd already paid for the recital/costume fee, but they said it can be refunded ... if nothing else they could pass it along to another student I think as a scholarship. It's not ideal, but I deserve some consequence for the mistake of paying in advance!)

Jane's going to try a theater program instead. She's in basketball too this season, so she has an athletic activity and an arts activity. Soon she can start piano lessons, which she's interested in. There's just so much we'd like her to do and not enough time to do it all!

Can our lives really continue like this? Will our world still keep turning after inauguration day? What about after the first nuclear bomb is sent? Does it matter if America crumbles around us? I am so worried and sick about it ... but I still have a preschooler who has activities, a baby who is developing gorgeously and my usual gripes, physical problems (wrist/carpal tunnel lately as the sinus stuff finally clears out I hope) and TV TV TV to watch (OMG Sherlock!). These are my golden days, and they are almost over...