Vandegrift Community Needs To Act With Integrity

Danielle Docherty, Sports Editor

 In the early hours of Monday, May 9th, freshman Amanda De La Torre’s brain pressure soared to 138 and she was declared brain dead, according to the Caring Bridge blog that her family set up.  Vandegrift High School has been forever impacted by the tragic loss of one of our beloved Vipers.

Amanda acquired severe brain swelling and damage from an unknown incident at a party in Steiner Ranch on Saturday, April 30th. She did not receive medical attention for at least five to six hours after the injury, preventing vital oxygen from reaching her brain.

As the shock hit the school so did the gossip about what caused Amanda’s death. It is not clear what happened that Friday night as a result of the many rumors clouding the truth and lack of communication and honesty of those who were at the party. Out of respect for Amanda as well as her family and friends, it is the students’ responsibility to have integrity and honesty about the events of that night.

Many students who were in attendance at the party have taken a vow of silence and are refusing to talk about what they saw and heard that night. It has gone beyond the point of trying to protect yourself from repercussions because it has taken a young girl’s life and shaken the entire school, community, and city of Austin. It is your responsibility as a human being to talk about what happened because the De La Torre family deserves to know the truth.

It is also the responsibility of those who do not directly know what happened to stop the rumors in their tracks. The gossip goes beyond the walls of Vandegrift and has flooded into the media, parents’ conversations and middle school and elementary school classrooms. The rumors only continue to keep everyone asking questions and do not lead us to a place of closure.

The media’s sole purpose is to present and inform the community of the facts, not make assumptions. It is wrong for the media to misrepresent the events of that night without it being confirmed by eye-witnesses. When the media feeds to the rumors rather than halting them, the media is not living up to its job. 

Through this heartbreaking event, everyone has a duty and everyone has a responsibility to fulfill. Whether or not you witnessed the event, heard it in the cafeteria, heard about it from your son, saw it on the news or are the reporter for the news, you have a part in this story.  But it is your responsibility to take a step of integrity towards the right course of action.