EDITORIAL: Pay attention, for their sake

Our White Rock/South Surrey community suffering two child deaths just days apart is beyond comprehension.

A child’s death, no matter the circumstances, is by definition a tragedy.

Our community suffering two deaths just days apart – one allegedly at the hands of a parent, the other from a reported early-morning attack – is beyond comprehension.

Last Wednesday, eight-year-old Teagan Batstone’s body was found in the trunk of a car that had been part of what police initially considered a minor motor-vehicle incident; her mother, 41-year-old Lisa Deanne Batstone, was arrested at the scene and charged the next day with second-degree murder.

And on Saturday, news spread quickly of an altercation at 3 a.m. that claimed the life of 15-year-old Dario Bartoli just a few hours later.

Teagan’s classmates and their families and teachers at Rosemary Heights Elementary are no doubt still in shock days after learning not only of her passing, but of the circumstances surrounding what became nationwide news.

Dario’s classmates at Earl Marriott Secondary and in neighbouring high schools took to social media to relay their loss, their confusion and their anger.

None of this is easy to read. We’re not equipped to process it. Nothing makes sense.

With regard to Teagan’s death, those who knew the mother and daughter speak of a traditional bond. The mother’s Facebook page shows image after image seemingly capturing her devotion and love for her little girl.

With regard to Dario’s, it seems unfathomable that someone friends describe as like family – who liked to eat fast food, blare rap music and ride a BMX – is but a memory.

Yet here we are…

Now, it’s up to our legal system to attempt to make some sense of these infuriating situations; to provide some sort of answer, an explanation for that which we are unable to comprehend.

For now, Teagan and Dario will be remembered as children whose time with us ended all too prematurely.

But we can’t stop there. We owe it to their memories – and to all children in our community who might one day be put at risk due to circumstances we can’t comprehend – to pay attention to these tragic situations and to any answers that are eventually provided.

No matter how hard it is to read.

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