Friday, March 18, 2005

Damned if you do. Damned if you don't.

I enjoy having some verbal interaction with other like-minded souls on a music website for guitar players and their families. We share events in our lives, we answer questions about life, trade humor, we give and receive advice. One fellow’s story this week was worth offering on my small blog.

A middle school public school teacher that makes an attempt to teach the young folk of Queen’s New York shared with us this past Tuesday about how glad he was that he had taken a course in CPR and learned the Heimlich maneuver.

He had walked into the school’s cafeteria and came upon a group of five thirteen year old girls seated at a table. The girls were all laughing at their classmate. The classmate’s face was blue and she was coughing and gagging. This teacher didn’t know, because of the girl’s laughter, what was going on. So he asked the girl if she was choking. She nodded her head "yes" and continued gagging. The teacher pulled her out of the seat, stood behind her and put his arms around her ribs. Then he compressed her diaphragm with his fist. Out flew a Hall’s cough drop that had become lodged in the girl’s throat. He sat with her until she was calm and said that she would be alright.

He walked away wondering why all the girls were laughing at this event. He then went to the administration office to fill out an incident report.

All of the members of the guitar website congratulated him on his heroism. We let him know that he was in the right place at the right time. He was the man of the hour.

You would think that this would be a great end to a great story.

Today he let us know that his union representative took him aside and scolded him. The rep let him know that he had left himself open for a lawsuit. The girl could claim that he was fondling her and trying to molest her by placing his body behind her so closely. The union guy also posed the question, "what if you broke her ribs? You could lose your career and the school district could be sued."

This teacher said that later today his vice principal also took him aside and gave him a similar lecture.

I find this to be totally ludicrous. What has happened to our society that it has become paramount that we look out for number one and ignore the needs of those suffering around us to the point that when an emergency arises, we are told the it would be better if we looked the other way?

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