Remembering Austin Sergeev

Posted: September 7, 2011 in On Compassion
Tags: , , ,

I don’t want to say anything disparaging about anyone today. I’ve made my feelings known, in other forums, about the 2008 death of young Austin Sergeev. I’ve been roundly criticized by people who don’t think a school and it’s teachers should take responsibility for the death of a student, even if they did their very best to save him. I want to apologize to anyone I offended by taking that position. However, I stand behind my opinion that if a child dies, even by a fluke, at a primary school, then it is the school that must take responsibility.

My point here is not to fight that battle any longer. My point is only to say that Austin Sergeev was a wonderful young 11 year old who was tragically killed by the fluke of being hit in the chest by a football at exactly the wrong millisecond. No one will ever know if having a defibrillator located differently, or identifying heart failure earlier, would have saved Austin. And, by way of my own closure I will say that I do believe that the other students, teachers, and staff, did the very best that they knew how; and they did it with concern and compassion. Of course a child is still dead and the school district went into “cover our ass” mode without missing a beat. But that doesn’t mean that everyone involved did anything other than to try their best.

Austin would have been 14 years old today and I miss him. At this point, that’s really all that matters.


  1. Dwon says:

    I’m working on a bill to make CPR mandatory for teachers in Oregon. It will be introduced into the house this session 2013. Please contact me if you’d like to help.

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