Disclaimer: Normally I attempt to adopt a more neutral mock-scientific tone for this column, but I can't be neutral on this one.
In June when most of the graduating seniors at the high school where I teach were out celebrating the close of their secondary education, a couple of my lovely former students headed down to Sinaloa Mexico to do medical humanitarian work.
Their plane crashed.
In a river. The pilot was killed. The two girls--best friends-- and another young man from a different school were heavily injured and left to fend for themselves. One of the girls became unconscious. Her best friend managed to get her to some kind souls, fishermen who were on the river. The fishermen saved them from there.
This is not a teen novel I'm reviewing. Not a Lifetime made-for-TV-movie. These are my former students, and they were always well-behaved, lovely, and gracious no matter what Crime or Punishment I threw at them. So, naturally, it was really hard to hear about this story, and to think about the pain they must be in. It hurt everyone who knew them to think about these lovely girls in pain. But, of course, the worst thing we can do is underestimate anyone, especially the perpetually underestimated teenager. These girls have been blogging about their experiences with recovery, and wow. I'm so honored to know them. Check it out, and if you get a chance, you may want to help them send their rescuers to get an education (yep. of course they use their pain to help others.)
And next time you're writing about teens, remember that some of them are as strong, and noble, and kind as this.