Virginia Tech University is settling with the victims' families of last April's massacre.
WASHINGTON | Virginia Tech will offer the families of the 32 slain students and faculty members a one-time payment of up to $180,000 from a fund used to solicit private donations after the April 16 massacre.None of what I say below is a criticism of the families. For the most part, I've been supportive of the way University officials have responded to the families and public since last April.
Kenneth Feinberg, administrator of the Hokie Spirit Memorial Fund, said Wednesday the university planned to distribute all of the $7.5 million fund to the families of those killed, and to the more than two dozen people wounded. Those injured in Norris Hall will receive between $40,000 to $90,000 apiece, depending on the severity of their injuries.
“This is intended to provide financial assistance to the families and students who lost a loved one or who were physically injured,” Feinberg said.
Vincent Bove, a spokesman for seven of the families, said the money would “help the families get back on track.”
But Bove cautioned that the relatives of the victims would keep up their criticism of how Virginia Tech officials responded to the shooting and continue to explore ways to make the university accountable.
Note- Today is the four month anniversary of the tragedy. Don't dismiss me when I say that many of the victims' family members are counting anniversaries like that. My wife and I lost a son almost five years ago, in the beginning we counted months and even days. The pain never goes away and certain days are going to invoke pain for the families. For I've been there and done it myself.
Also note that students are already returning to Virginia Tech. This also has to stir feelings among those left behind. Where and what would their children, brothers, sisters etc be doing today if they were at VT? Yesterday was also four months since this family last saw or spoke to their daughter.
Here are some observations.
1- The families shouldn't be expected to keep quiet after this settlement. They are still welcome to criticize the University if they want. After all there is a thing called free speech in this country.
2- One University official is saying this payment is final(With the exception of any money being possibly given by the state of Virginia itself. At least one victim's loved one isn't happy and thinks the settlement shouldn't be finalized yet.
Its four months since the massacre. Most money collected after such an event, comes in the immediate aftermath and then trickles off. More money could come in, but as the official said at present the fund will have a $200,000 deficit after today's offer. IMHO I wouldn't hold out hope for much or any more money from the Hokie Spirit Fund if I was the families.
3- Even after the families receive what is coming to them my hunch is most will never feel relieved or compensated. No amount of money can bring you back a loved one you lost, and the settlement will feel like blood money. Whatever the money is spent for, even the most noble of things like scholarship funds in honor of those who died, are just never going to make up for the loss they have suffered. I've been active with cancer support groups for years, and know a few people who have gotten malpractice awards. It almost never compensated these people, because no amount of money can replace someone you loved. God bless the families of those who died.
Cao agrees with me, and sees the settlement as blood money.
Linked to- Bullwinkle, Morewhat, Perri Nelson,
Labels: Virginia Tech