Students at Robertsville Middle Schoo...

Students at Robertsville Middle School cope with loss of classmate

There are 104 comments on the WBIR Knoxville story from Nov 12, 2007, titled Students at Robertsville Middle School cope with loss of classmate. In it, WBIR Knoxville reports that:

Students at Robertsville Middle School in Oak Ridge had a difficult time Monday, coping with the loss of a classmate.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at WBIR Knoxville.

Uncle Vito

Nashville, TN

#22 Nov 13, 2007
Oak Ridger in Paine wrote:
STOP BLAMING THE SCHOOL SYSTEM! ASHLEY HAD NO BUSINESS RIDING A BIKE IN THAT DANGEROUS AND BUSY INTERSECTION AND HER NEGLIGENT PARENTS ARE TO BLAME! HER FATHER COULD HAVE PICKED HER UP! HE WAS THERE WHEN THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED! SHAME ON THE FAMILY! SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR BLAMING OTHERS!
Good god idiot, don't you have a shred of compassion in your pathetic body. Speaking of pathetic, Bailey's tv interview yesterday was a joke. As usual, he tried to control the conversation by saying "this isn't the time" to address the bus situation. Well, when is Time? When another child dies? The bottom line is the OR schoool board and the powers that be are willing to shell out $60 million for renovations, but cut bus service. What's wrong with that picture?
mad as hell

Nashville, TN

#23 Nov 13, 2007
when the parents were out at the intersections last night collecting money and holding signs "WHERE WAS THE CONCERNED DR BAILEY" he was hiding with the same old excuse "in a meeting"
To the one who said he never knew ashley till this happened is right. Does he know any of our kids. NO If he so is worried about them, let see him out here crossing our kids till they get bus service. I feel that if he and the rest of the big wigs dont do something NOW for our kids that we as taxpayers ask that he leave his job with no buy outs of his contract. What is it going to take for them to see. If we as parents refuse to let our kids walk to school because we have to work we go to jail. But it is ok for the city to put our kids in danger with no repercution. It all boils down to their pay raises and new vehicles. I have complained many times about the bus situation and to no avail. Well now with cost that they will have to pay this family, that would have paid for buses and drivers.
Eastside mom

United States

#24 Nov 13, 2007
We live in Knox Co and live within the 1 mile distance of the middle school my children attend. If they walked - they would have to cross a railroad track with no signals, go thru an underpass that the buses are not allowed to go thru - cross four lanes for Rutledge Pike to go down a narrow Chillhowee Drive that has no shoulder. I've spoken many times to the Knox Co. Transportation Dept (which is extremely rude)- they've told me "Good Luck with getting your kids a bus - it ain't gonna happen". Just last year a Carter student was killed crossing Rutledge Pike trying to get to his bus stop. Unfortunately because of my work schedule - my kids arrive at school at 7:15 (the earliest they are allowed)- school does not start til 8:30 and each afternoon they are having to find a ride home. My prayers go out to this family and community. I hope you see change - I'm sure Knox Co. could care less.
Momof3

Palm City, FL

#25 Nov 13, 2007
Nothing productive can come from blame at this point. Mourn this girl, grieve with her family and then take all that energy and get proactive with the changes that need to take place. We left the Farragut schools for South Florida. There is NO such thing here as an intersection or a crosswalk anywhere near the school without a crossing guard. The students MUST wear helmets and MUST walk their bikes across the intersection. If the student is not in class at attendance time, an "auto" call goes to the parent immediately to report the absence. Demand changes take place. Not enough money in the budget? Tell that to Ashely ...

“Ain't life mysterious?”

Since: Nov 07

East Tennessee

#26 Nov 13, 2007
I do live in Oak Ridge and I did have children who walked home from Robertsville before the one mile rule came into effect. My children chose to walk home after school because the ride on the bus was so long. I dropped them off in the mornings but was unable to pick them up in the afternoons. The FACT of the matter is this...Yes, it is a very very busy intersection, some may only count it as a four lane highway but I count it as a 5 lane because of the right hand merge onto the Turnpike. At the time my children were walking; the "walk" signal button did not function. I called the city...no response. I called them again when a car flew through the intersection although other vehicles had paused. No response. I called the police. No response. I called the school, the superintendent and the school board. Nothing was done. No one heard my pleas for help. This began in 2002. Finally, I arranged for another parent to pick my children up and drop them off at home. We aren't just talking about our children...we are talking about pedestrians that have to dodge traffic because drivers do not pay attention. I don't think that there is anything wrong with the one mile rule but then I grew up listening how my parents walked five miles to and from school all uphill. My children walked home from school when we lived in Minnesota (through some pretty tough weather). But there were crossing guards manned by parents or grandparents. DO NOT BLAME A CHILD OR HER PARENTS FOR THIS TRAGEDY. I can't walk across my living room without tripping on my feet. Look to the DRIVERS (some of which come from the high school by the way). Our society has become rude and calloused this overflows into impatience in driving. Look to the maintenance of the "crossing signals". And let's take a look at our own driving habits. For example, Tulane Ave, after church on Sunday mornings...there are crosswalks...pedestrians have the right of way but are people polite enough to pay attention the the law and stop???? NO. We should all look in the mirror before we point any fingers. AND DO NOT BLAME THIS CHILD OR HER PARENTS!!!!!
Caucasion Inquisition wrote:
<quoted text>
Personally I think it's criminal to make a child walk across a 4 lane with absolutely no protection. Especially that one. When's the last time you saw a patrol car in that area? I may not live in Oak Ridge but I do spend alot of time and money there. My heart goes out to the family, I can only imagine how horrible it must be. Laying blame is not going to bring this young lady back. Finding solutions and acting upon them, however may make her death an easier pill to swallow. I wonder if anyone ever thought of putting in one of those pedestrian over passes?
Momof3

Palm City, FL

#27 Nov 13, 2007
Nothing productive can come from blame at this point. Mourn this girl, grieve with the family and then take that energy and get proactive with the changes that NEED to take place. We left Farragut schools for S. Florida. There is NO SUCH THING here as an intersection or a crosswalk without a crossing guard. Students MUST wear helmets, MUST walk their bike across the crosswalk and if they are not in their seat at attendance time, an "auto" call goes to the parent immediately to report the absence. Demand these changes. Not enough money in the budget? Tell that to Ashley ...
JESSICA

Powell, TN

#28 Nov 13, 2007
Concerned wrote:
No one can imagine the deep loss of a child unless you have been in those parents' shoes.
As I read through the comments posted, not once did someone mention who was actually at fault in this horrific accident--Ashley and her parents. Before you reply with disdain, remember "she" fell off her bike; "she" was apparently listening to music and not paying 100% attention to what she was doing (the same as drivers talking on cell phones); she should have been taught to only cross at intersections with a crosswalk (Robertsville and Illinois) and; to walk her bike across the street instead of riding her bike.
The School Board and City officials are not the ones at fault here. Most all other schools have the 1-mile no bus rule. Concerned parents could put on a reflector vest and act as road guards in the mornings and afternoons. Don't sit back and expect someone else to fix this problem. Parents should also be proactive.
YOU JUST NEED TO SHUT UP!!!!!NO ONE WANTS TO HEAR THE SH** THAT IS COMMING OUT YOUR MOUTH.IT WAS NOT THAT CHILDS FAULT,NOR ANYONE ELSES.NOONE NEEDS TO REREAD CRAP THAT HAS BEEN POSTED THE PAST 3 DAYS...YOU JUST NEED TO PRAY FOR THIS FAMILY,ETC....
Road Guards 48 yr ago

Maryville, TN

#29 Nov 13, 2007
Concerned wrote:
No one can imagine the deep loss of a child unless you have been in those parents' shoes.
As I read through the comments posted, not once did someone mention who was actually at fault in this horrific accident--Ashley and her parents. Before you reply with disdain, remember "she" fell off her bike; "she" was apparently listening to music and not paying 100% attention to what she was doing (the same as drivers talking on cell phones); she should have been taught to only cross at intersections with a crosswalk (Robertsville and Illinois) and; to walk her bike across the street instead of riding her bike.
The School Board and City officials are not the ones at fault here. Most all other schools have the 1-mile no bus rule. Concerned parents could put on a reflector vest and act as road guards in the mornings and afternoons. Don't sit back and expect someone else to fix this problem. Parents should also be proactive.
The one mile rule was in effect 48 years ago when I walked to school in the first grade. We had police guards at all major road (2lane then) crossings every day of school. If we did it then with much less traffic, why not today with more faster moving traffic on four lanes.

Everyone need to share some blame here, not just the parents. You can count on your fingers the number of vehicles that drive the speed limit in any school zone, that includes the school buses. If you want to get pushed through a school zone, drive just 5 MPH over the speed limit with a school buss behind you! How many people slow to a safe speed when passing a bicycle or pedestrian? If the pedestrian stumbles and falls, can you stop in time as required by the law. Do you move completely in another lane when passing a bicycle as the law requires?

If you think drivers have no responsibility when a pedestrian is crossing the road illegally, blow by one in Gatlinburg and the judge will explain the laws of Tennessee to you. Gatlinburg and Pigeon Forge has solved a major problem with pedestrian accident by ticketing driver who make no attempt to slow for pedestrians.
Bubba

Knoxville, TN

#30 Nov 13, 2007
Knoxville wrote:
This big mouth chick where I hang out said that when this happened that the bus driver just let the kids off the bus as if nothing ever happened.
That may have indeed happened if you think about it although I don't really know. Perhpas the bus driver did not want to traumatize the kids on the bus. So faking a failure of some other kind may have spared some kids a real view of the events. Acting as if nothing happened may have been a wise choice.

The bus driver is markedly upset over the incident. Even though she did nothing wrong, could not have avoided the incident, it is still going to affect the bus driver significantly.
disgusted

Nashville, TN

#31 Nov 13, 2007
I have 3 children still in the OR schools. One in high school and 2 at RMS. I have talked many times to the transportations department, just to get excuses. The bus stops at the corner of my road and will pick up my high schooler, then turn left onto Illinois and pickup students on Iriquios then go on to RMS,(where my 2 younger ones go) but will not let them on the bus because we live 1 block inside the mile. This does no make any sense to me at all. If I could not take them to school they would have to cross Illinois Ave during morning rush hour. What is wrong with our officials are they more worried about being in the top 100 school than our children.
As for you Dr Bailey, saying Ashley was one of us, you didnt even know this little girl.
I agree with the person who thinks you should be out in the mornings crossing our kids or putting pressure on the city to have police there to do it. Oliver Springs, Karns and other cities have a police officer there every morning and afternoon so why dont we? My prayers are with the families of this tragedy
OR native

Oak Ridge, TN

#32 Nov 13, 2007
Oak Ridger in Paine wrote:
STOP BLAMING THE SCHOOL SYSTEM! ASHLEY HAD NO BUSINESS RIDING A BIKE IN THAT DANGEROUS AND BUSY INTERSECTION AND HER NEGLIGENT PARENTS ARE TO BLAME! HER FATHER COULD HAVE PICKED HER UP! HE WAS THERE WHEN THE ACCIDENT HAPPENED! SHAME ON THE FAMILY! SHAME ON ALL OF YOU FOR BLAMING OTHERS!
Wow...I hope tragedy strikes you and your family soon so that you may find your heart. How cruel to be so harsh at a time like this.
Bubba

Knoxville, TN

#33 Nov 13, 2007
Momof3 wrote:
Not enough money in the budget? Tell that to Ashley ...
Enough money is not the issue. The issue is how that money is spent. Oak Ridge chose to spend a large chunk of their budget on a new high school. Not just a regular school, but a top of the line, best of the best. Oak Ridge wants to be one of the top 100 schools in the nation and will spare no expense to achieve that goal.

Unfortunately in the process many other very important needs of the school system will suffer. Transportation is one area.

While I think a one mile no bussing limit is reasonable, that also needs to be tempered with what roads the children cross within that one mile area.

Anyone living East of Illinois or South of the Turnpike should be excluded from the one mile limit. This avoids students having to cross these two busy, and wide, roads. Those that live North of the Turnpike or West of Illinois within a mile of school should walk. At most it is 15 minutes.

Use the exclusion zones, but temper that decision by consider the obstacles that the students have to traverse to get to school.

I would also like to see restrictions placed on the car riders. Either limit the number or place restrictions on departure such as all busses leave first, then walkers leave the school, followed by a 5 minute delay, then car riders allowed to leave.

The idea should be to reduce the traffic around the school and minimize the student exposure to vehicular traffic.

It will still be impossible to eliminate any possibility of another student getting injured or killed. In Ashley's case there was no fault of the bus driver. No one has said whether she was trying cross the Turnpike, or simply riding on the sidewalk. Ashley made an error, a very costly error, while riding her bike. These errors cannot be eliminated. You can strive to minimize the number and severity of the errors, you cannot eliminate the errors.

People in Oak Ridge need to understand that busses cost money, a lot of money. The people can choose to have an elaborate high school and no busses, the people can choose to keep taxes low and have no busses, the people can choose to have busses for everyone and higher taxes.

People in Oak Ridge made their choice awhile back when a property tax increase was shelved because of opposition. Something had to give to keep the schools funded. The bus budget suffered. So indirectly the people of Oak Ridge helped foster the current situation. They wanted their palacial high school with no increase in taxes. They got it.

DAH

“Live, Laugh, Love”

Since: Jun 07

Knoxville, TN

#34 Nov 13, 2007
Concerned wrote:
No one can imagine the deep loss of a child unless you have been in those parents' shoes.
As I read through the comments posted, not once did someone mention who was actually at fault in this horrific accident--Ashley and her parents. Before you reply with disdain, remember "she" fell off her bike; "she" was apparently listening to music and not paying 100% attention to what she was doing (the same as drivers talking on cell phones); she should have been taught to only cross at intersections with a crosswalk (Robertsville and Illinois) and; to walk her bike across the street instead of riding her bike.
The School Board and City officials are not the ones at fault here. Most all other schools have the 1-mile no bus rule. Concerned parents could put on a reflector vest and act as road guards in the mornings and afternoons. Don't sit back and expect someone else to fix this problem. Parents should also be proactive.
You must be a member of the school board, how classy of you to point the finger of blame on this child and her family. Her family and friends are suffering enough. Keep your comments to yourself or at very least show some compassion.
Close Family Friend

Nashville, TN

#35 Nov 13, 2007
Those of you who are blaming the father for not picking her up on his way to work:
He just happened to be free at that time on that day. His job requires him to be at work at different times on different days. He does not work a 9-5 like some of us therefore he would not have been able to pick her up every day. He doesn't even go that way to work. He was going to Knoxville to work and when he saw the EMTs go by and saw the school bus, he said he just thought it might have something to do with Ashley and turned around and that's when he happened upon the accident.
Her parents were NOT on the corner collecting money. That was her grandparents and friends...some of whom are my family. The parents have been at the hospital the ENTIRE time she has been in there, spending the night and everything. They have asked for nothing but prayer...no money, no press releases, NOTHING! They are much too concerned with their other children and the decisions they have had to make to be concerned with what they news has said and people are saying about them. Chances are, they don't even know there is a fund in Ashley's name. These are good people who love their children and this situation was totally an ACCIDENT period!
bethany

Harriman, TN

#36 Nov 13, 2007
Concerned wrote:
No one can imagine the deep loss of a child unless you have been in those parents' shoes.
As I read through the comments posted, not once did someone mention who was actually at fault in this horrific accident--Ashley and her parents. Before you reply with disdain, remember "she" fell off her bike; "she" was apparently listening to music and not paying 100% attention to what she was doing (the same as drivers talking on cell phones); she should have been taught to only cross at intersections with a crosswalk (Robertsville and Illinois) and; to walk her bike across the street instead of riding her bike.
The School Board and City officials are not the ones at fault here. Most all other schools have the 1-mile no bus rule. Concerned parents could put on a reflector vest and act as road guards in the mornings and afternoons. Don't sit back and expect someone else to fix this problem. Parents should also be proactive.
You need help how you can even say something like that tells me that you have no brains and no heart why dont you do see if the wizard can give you one and keep your mouth off here,
Shocked

United States

#37 Nov 13, 2007
As I read through the comments posted, not once did someone mention who was actually at fault in this horrific accident--Ashley and her parents. Before you reply with disdain, remember "she" fell off her bike; "she" was apparently listening to music and not paying 100% attention to what she was doing (the same as drivers talking on cell phones); she should have been taught to only cross at intersections with a crosswalk (Robertsville and Illinois) and; to walk her bike across the street instead of riding her bike.

Are you kidding me?! First of all this is a 12 yr old CHILD...when my child falls and hurts herself I don't look at her and say "shame on you for falling...you shouldn't have fallen." It was an accident! Ashley FELL off her bike! She fell! She didn't fall under the bus on purpose!

Secondly, it is only speculated that she was listening to her IPod. Ad even if that is true she is a CHILD! Ridiculous!

Thirdly, she HAS to cross the turnpike!!! She has no choice!! AND she wasn't riding her bike across the street! She fell into the bus!

Have you forgotten that we are talking about a persons life here?! There is a family having to bury their child this week! Do you really think that blaming them or the child is relevant. You are an idiot!
disgusted

Smyrna, TN

#38 Nov 13, 2007
Has anyone that is saying that her father should have picked her up thought to consideer that maybe he had gotten off work early that day for wahtever reason? That maybe he doesnt always get off at that time. Everyone is looking for someone to blame. This is a very tragic accident. I feel sorry for everyone involved- bus driver, parents, friends, school administration, anyone who happened to be driving by to go get their children. I mean even the emergency workers who have children who have that image of that child stuck in their minds- My heart breaks for all of you.
Shocked in Oak Ridge

United States

#39 Nov 13, 2007
Oak Ridge Angry Parent wrote:
WHY in GODS NAME did this girls parents even allow her to ride her bike to school without a helmet? Her father came through the intersection right after the accident occurred on Friday, so clearly he could have picked her up and taken her home himself in his car. Her parents are just as much to blame as anyone else is! STOP demanding that the school system take responsibility for what you as parents should be doing!
She needed a helmet but it wouldn't have helped in this situation.
Uncle Vito

Nashville, TN

#40 Nov 13, 2007
Bubba wrote:
<quoted text>Enough money is not the issue. The issue is how that money is spent. Oak Ridge chose to spend a large chunk of their budget on a new high school. Not just a regular school, but a top of the line, best of the best. Oak Ridge wants to be one of the top 100 schools in the nation and will spare no expense to achieve that goal.
Unfortunately in the process many other very important needs of the school system will suffer. Transportation is one area.
While I think a one mile no bussing limit is reasonable, that also needs to be tempered with what roads the children cross within that one mile area.
Anyone living East of Illinois or South of the Turnpike should be excluded from the one mile limit. This avoids students having to cross these two busy, and wide, roads. Those that live North of the Turnpike or West of Illinois within a mile of school should walk. At most it is 15 minutes.
Use the exclusion zones, but temper that decision by consider the obstacles that the students have to traverse to get to school.
I would also like to see restrictions placed on the car riders. Either limit the number or place restrictions on departure such as all busses leave first, then walkers leave the school, followed by a 5 minute delay, then car riders allowed to leave.
The idea should be to reduce the traffic around the school and minimize the student exposure to vehicular traffic.
It will still be impossible to eliminate any possibility of another student getting injured or killed. In Ashley's case there was no fault of the bus driver. No one has said whether she was trying cross the Turnpike, or simply riding on the sidewalk. Ashley made an error, a very costly error, while riding her bike. These errors cannot be eliminated. You can strive to minimize the number and severity of the errors, you cannot eliminate the errors.
People in Oak Ridge need to understand that busses cost money, a lot of money. The people can choose to have an elaborate high school and no busses, the people can choose to keep taxes low and have no busses, the people can choose to have busses for everyone and higher taxes.
People in Oak Ridge made their choice awhile back when a property tax increase was shelved because of opposition. Something had to give to keep the schools funded. The bus budget suffered. So indirectly the people of Oak Ridge helped foster the current situation. They wanted their palacial high school with no increase in taxes. They got it.
oak ridge pinheads can talk all they want about being "one of the best 100" high schools in the country. They can throw millions of dollars at a new high school. The bottom line, Oak Ridge is nowhere near a top-100 high school. At one time it was -- and it wasn't because of a $56 million renovation, a shiny new gym or self-touting school board and administration people.
Close Family Friend

Nashville, TN

#41 Nov 13, 2007
In case my earlier message didn't post:
If you want to know the closest thing to the truth, it is on the Oak Ridger's web site. They have interviewed the mother and this article will inform you better than anything you've seen on the news so far.
As far as the father being on the scene so that means that he could have picked her up. He was NOT going by there at the time. He was on his way to work in Knoxville...which is not a 9-5 everyday type of job therefore his schedule varies, when he saw the EMTs go by and he looked to the left and saw the school bus. He told us that he just knew something was wrong and turned his car around and found out that it was Ashley.
Whoever said that her parents were on the corner, that was not true either. You will learn that her grandparents were there simply because they passed by that way on the way home from the hospital. The parents have been by Ashley's side this ENTIRE time since the accident, sleeping there and all, until yesterday afternoon after they finished the surgery for her to donate her organs.
These are wonderful parents. They're not concerned with the money. They simply want to make a change so this doesn't happen to other children. They have made no talk about lawyers or anything else people were saying about them earlier. They love their children and they are focused on them right now.

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