January 29, 2008 - 11:08 AM
Pat Buchana - email@example.com
What a sweet and innocent boy. I am moved by what you all have gone through, and very sad for your loss. There's no doubt in my mind he is up in Heaven playing with his friends, and watching over his family.
I do hope you all get justice in your lawsuit. As an Engineer, I can tell you that it is a terrible design to not only have a flimsy building wall where kids sit, but to also have a parking lot adjoin the building with no protection. The Aldi grocery store in, I think, either Effingham or Vandalia, was crashed into by a car several years ago. It was built with brick and has a parking lot adjoining it. Somehow, that design team figured out how to address this obvious safety issue. To not account for this in my Engineering mind, is like flunking basic Engineering 101. There is no excuse for it, and anyone who tries to tell you differently, is full of you know what.
There are standards out there that the school system should have followed in considering the strength and design of the building. Then there's common sense. Both should go into designs. Teachers and administrators shouldn't just decouple themselves from the design process. And they shouldn't just take safety for granted. They should be pro-active, and involved daily in ensuring safety, and thinking through scenarios in their minds about what could be improved - such as this situation that caused Ryan's death.
They should play an integral role. And who was it that wasn't doing their job during the design stages of that cafeteria and failed to properly consider things like this? It should not be the case that stores and buildings within an hour or two of Shiloh have cars crash into them, be built out of brick, and yet this is not applied to a school cafeteria where hundreds of kids are sitting.
That really makes me mad, and angry at the system and the people who are supposed to be competent adults running it. We are too focused on all sorts of spending on this and on that...
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