When my peanut allergic son was 5, he suddenly blurted out "Mom, don't worry about me, if I eat a nut by mistake and it kills me, I can just hit the re-do button and get another life, like in the video game." I became really scared that his child-like innocence prevented him from understanding the potential adverse ramifications of his own food allergy.
As a nation, it behooves us to consider how we prioritize various learning experiences. As millions of high school students leap through the hoops and hurdles of the next 9 months of the school year, we must look beyond short-term gains in specific skills and knowledge toward their longer term needs and desires.
Rory was 12 when he died, but was known as a friend to many. Always the one to take a student under his wing, he tried to make people new to his school or town feel welcomed. A recent transfer student from Japan, whom Rory had befriended, wrote a tribute to Rory after his death and it was clear that Rory was an amazing friend.