What would you do? Here is our first discussion question for this month’s book “I Am Watching You” comment below.
I would not have intervened on the train. First, it wouldn’t occur to me that you could call someone’s parents I guess because I’m in a major city and there’s no chance of looking someone up just because you know their names and where they’re from. Second, at most I might have said something directly to the girls if an opportunity presented itself, but I tend to fall more in the category of leaving things be unless I see something overtly dangerous happening.
I wouldn’t intervene. I think I would approach it in the same way that Ella did, but I don’t even think I would have considered trying to call the girls families.
I definitely would have listened to their conversation, been amused, and maybe have considered saying something to one of the two girls if I happened to be able to interact with them alone, but not any other way.
Even in the small counties of Devon and Cornwall you’d be hard pressed to know how to contact the parents. Also, just because the guys were fresh from prison doesn’t make them evil! Nor does inviting them to a club imply something terrible. Perhaps the age of the girls might be a concern in the whole scenario but I can’t remember if she knew their ages or just understood them to be young (and by extension, a bit vulnerable).
I would have intervened if I knew the girls and their families. But I wouldn’t have tried to track down the parents of complete strangers.
I really find this to be a hard question. On one hand you could try to say something, but I know how I was as a younger girl and even Today and I probably wouldn’t have listened. It’s true that just because the guys had gotten out of the jail that they are not “evil” it could have been from anything scaling from public intoxication, shoplifting, to drug possession charges that got them in trouble. Ella did a really good job in being aware of what was going on and the surroundings. I think being able to remember faces, how the girls were acting, what discussions were being had is one of the most insightful things that could have come out from a stranger on a train.
I think if I found myself in the same situation I would let it be, but keep a mindful eye and awareness of what is going on around you. I would do the same anytime I’m traveling for the safety of yourself and others.
I thought a lot about this because I teach High School in a small town. But unless I knew the kids or got a name I wouldn’t be able to intervene. If I could, though, I would. I hear so many awful stories of parties my students go to that this book scared me.
I’ve been in a couple situations where I have intervened – bullies beating up kids, a girl that was being threatened by her boyfriend. In this situation, the girls were not in any immediate danger and were in control of their actions. I would not have intervened.
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