Crisis brings out virtues

Guest blog by Charles Williams

Assistant Principal, Heritage & Table Rock Middle Schools

Burke County, NC

Sometimes the six virtues are evident in a crisis situation. Rain was pouring during the morning bus run several weeks ago. As I listened on the radio “bus channel,” I heard the operator say one of the elementary buses was on its side and the driver and students were trapped.  As I listened, I heard heroic actions play out.

The driver radioed the bus garage with her situation. Her first concern was her students’ safety. In the minutes that passed, I learned that one of our middle school buses arrived on the scene.

Without a second thought, the second driver (who is also a teacher) entered the back of the bus.  The middle school students followed, and as the driver evacuated the elementary students from the wreck, the older students escorted them to safety in the middle school bus. The middle school students consoled and cared for the frightened little ones. Luckily, only one student received a minor scratch.

The second driver reached the injured driver and used her jacket to apply pressure to a major leg wound. I could hear her radioing back and forth, explaining the situation. Everything was under control. She was with the driver and the children were with our middle school students.  Things were taken care of until emergency workers arrived.

At a recent school assembly, the students and teacher were recognized for their actions. Clearly, the six virtues were demonstrated:

Understanding and Imagination: Individuals understood the situation and used their imaginations to figure out what needed to be done. Quick, accurate thinking was needed and evident.

Strong Character:  Everybody demonstrated this virtue.  They did what was right and the older ones had the strength needed to console and care for the little ones.

Courage:  I heard fear in the voices over the radio. Fear was overcome, though, and courageous actions were evident.

Generosity and Humility:  I am impressed with the spirit of generosity in our students. Humility has also played out after the incident. Whenever the story of the accident has been told, the students have humbled themselves and recognized the ones who stayed calm in the situation.

These actions and virtues remind me of the good that exists in the world, especially in our school.

 

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