Jun 6th, 2005 · Categories: Uncategorized · 2 Comments

News: What is a "chaperone" anyway?

As the father of a June graduate, my thoughts and prayers are with Natalee Holloway and her parents. I can barely begin to imagine what her parents are going through, hoping for the best even as they fear the worst.

If Natalee Holloway has been harmed, there is a person or persons responsible for the deed. But who was responsible for exposing her to the dangers of an island bar in a foreign country at 1:00 in the morning? Who was supposed to exercise adult judgment to counter their charges’ celebratory mood, sense of adventure, and youthful feelings of immortality? Who was responsible for ensuring that Natalee stayed with her group and returned safely to her hotel?

Who were the “chaperones” that let her slip away to an as-yet unknown fate?

Where were they? What were they doing? What were they thinking? Did they imagine that teenagers suddenly become seasoned adults just by graduating high school? Did they just lose track of her or did they get so caught up in their own island adventure that they left Natalee to her own devices?

Who were the “chaperones” who didn’t know or didn’t care that she was getting into a car with strangers?

By most accounts, there was a chaperone for every four or five students. Did they have any specific duties? Did they split up to keep an eye on their own group? Or did they hang out together, perhaps not wanting to interfere with the students’ fun? Did they try to prevent her leaving but stop short for fear of making a fuss? Were they reluctant to embarrass her – or themselves?

What did they think a “chaperone” is supposed to do?

Yes, I’m angry. And until it’s reported that at least one adult in the party fought like a demon to keep Natalee out of that car, I’ll be judgmental too. How can we not judge the chaperones’ collective failure to honor the trust of the parents who delivered their daughter into their protection? Did the chaperones even understand that they held Natalee’s life in their care? Even if Natalee is found alive and well, how could we not still condemn the actions of adults who abandoned Natalee at the moment of her greatest need?

What is a “chaperone” anyway?

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2 Responses to “News: What is a "chaperone" anyway?”

  1. Anonymous Says:

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  2. Grumpy Says:

    November 13th, 2009 at 2:51 pm

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