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FROM THE EDITOR’S DESK: Some school lessons aren’t in books

Posted on Wednesday, September 4, 2013 at 1:16 pm

I think it’s true what “they” say – we don’t really know how we will react to an intense situation until we are in one.

josh petersonYou might think you know how you will react or anticipate how you will react in a certain situation, but until it is presented it is hard to really know.

I don’t know if Central High School sophomore Andy Rosson knew how he was going to respond when folks were crying for help while Lee Anne Acosta was lying unresponsive. But he certainly made it look textbook .

Today it seems like drugs and destruction all too often dominate the front pages of our newspapers. It is refreshing to see a story that is truly inspirational and that is exactly what Andy Rosson’s story is. In my brief sit down with him, he seemed pretty naïve to just exactly what he had done. His actions saved a person’s life. Lee Anne Acosta is walking, talking, enjoying her family, eating her favorite foods and watching her favorite television programs today because of the work done by Rosson .

The story goes deeper than just Andy. It reveals many sub stories that shouldn’t be overlooked, either.

It goes to show what many of us, me included, already know – that some of the most important lessons learned in school aren’t standard reading, writing and arithmetic. Life lessons go a long way. Learning CPR is not on the state’s common-core testing standards that we so often worry ourselves with. But thanks to some heads up folks in the Air Force Junior ROTC program and the health classes at CHS, Rosson was taught CPR not once, but twice. Maybe once was enough, but by hearing from the family of Acosta he jumped into action like a seasoned lifeguard veteran. Perhaps both courses gave him that confidence.

I hope school administration take this story and turn it into training for all students at the high school. Middle school students can learn, too. What’s wrong with taking a couple of classes out of the year to learn how to save a life? The reading and writing can wait, can’t they?

I can’t imagine what I would do if I were in the same situation as Andy. I would like to say that I would jump into action and save a life. The truth is no one knows. I just hope I act like Andy.

-Josh Peterson is the editor of the Manchester Times. He is a Tennessee Press Association award-winning writer and photographer. His column, “From the editor’s desk” won TPA first-place honors for best personal humor column. He can be reached by email at or by telephone at 931-728-7577 ext. 105. Follow him on Twitter @joshpeterson29