A 19 year-old auto parts store employee in New Smyrna Beach on the Atlantic Coast of Florida was installing a battery in a customer’s car when he heard calls for help from a nearby canal. Stripping to his boxers, Nic Berry jumped into the murky water and pulled the man to safety. He then offered the man a bottle of water, a bag of chips, and a ride home. Nic’s response to his act of heroism was that it was a no-brainer- it’s the way he was raised.
A week-and-a-half earlier about 50 miles south in the town of Cocoa a group of teen-aged boys ages 14 to 16 watched as Jamel Dunn also screamed for help while drowning. They mocked him, told him they would not help and made a video of the drowning. State Attorney Phil Archer initially determined that “there was no immediate indication that a crime was committed because state law doesn’t require people to give or call for help when someone is in distress.” City officials later said they could possibly pursue misdemeanor charges.
“It was a no-brainer…it’s the way he was raised.” Obviously Nic Berry was raised the way most of us would envision good parenting. But, what about the 14 to 16 year olds who not only would not render assistance, but ridiculed and made a video of the victim suffering his last moments of life? Although we might want to lay the blame on the “raising” of those children, we also must look at a society which no longer values human life as precious and what that society is doing to our youth. We see it in the entertainment they watch, the music they hear, and the celebrities they idolize. That disrespect and dishonor of other people has been evident in our recent political circus coming from those who should know better. Yes, America, the children are watching. What are we teaching them?