WASHINGTON, D.C. – The routine activity of crossing of the street after exiting the school bus quickly turned tragic last November as a seven year-old girl was struck by a car. The young girl was flown to the hospital with critical injuries and almost two months later, her recovery is reportedly progressing. But it is what happened on the school bus in the minutes following the tragedy that is getting some positive attention this week.

The students from St. Mary’s School in Bryantown participate in Charles County’s bus share program. While the girl involved in the accident attends a different (public) school, there were several students from St. Mary’s (a Catholic school) on board the same school bus that day. As a chaotic scene ensued with the distraught bus driver seeking emergency response, two eighth grade students from St. Mary’s quickly observed that the younger students on the bus were upset and sprung to action. They calmly instructed the students to move seats to the side of the bus where the accident scene would not be visible, and then proceeded to pair older students with the younger students, even suggesting to those who possessed cell phones to call their parents and then helped the younger students to call their parents as well.

The two students who exhibited great leadership and graceful calm under pressure in the situation are being honored by the Archdiocese of Washington’s Superintendent for Catholic Schools, Mr. William Ryan this week.