Notre Dame student: Father Jenkins, Trump failed COVID-19 leadership test

  • An event held in the Rose Garden may have been responsible for infecting many high-profile politicians with coronavirus.
  • As a Notre Dame student, it was extremely disappointing to see our President, Father John Jenkins, at the event and not following the protocols that we students have been carefully following ourselves.
  • Rachel Palermo is a J.D. candidate at Notre Dame Law School.
  • This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Leaders must lead by example. 

Setting policies is an important part of being a leader. But the people who set the rules need to join the rest of us in following them.

As a law student at the University of Notre Dame, I have spent the last few months following important rules that have been imposed by our school.

Early this summer, the Notre Dame administration announced that we would return to in-person classes for the fall semester, even as many colleges and universities converted to fully remote learning. In exchange for being able to attend in-person classes, our community has been entrusted with meeting certain safety expectations.

To name a few: we wear masks at all times, stay six feet away from other people, and refrain from traveling outside of the area. We are often reminded that our responsibilities to one another don’t end once we leave campus.

I understand that the only way to keep our community safe is to take the COVID-19 rules and recommendations seriously, even when they are inconvenient. I’m proud that many other Notre Dame students have demonstrated responsible behavior — on and off campus — because they also understand the stakes are too high. 

Last week, along with many of my classmates, I watched the Rose Garden ceremony for the nomination of our professor, Judge Amy Coney Barrett, with disappointment and embarrassment. 

Setting aside whether or not we believe that nominating someone to the US Supreme Court a month before an election is appropriate, we sat in disbelief as some Notre Dame professors and administrators didn’t wear masks, ignored social distancing guidelines, and even shook hands with other attendees. They broke every rule and guideline that we have been told to follow. 

We watched a potential super-spreader event unfold before our eyes on live television, with familiar faces in the crowd. For those of us who have been social distancing since the spring, watching the ceremony was like observing an alternate reality. 

This week, we learned that Donald Trump, Melania Trump, and other high profile White House officials in attendance at the ceremony tested positive for COVID-19. Trump’s diagnoses came just 48 hours after mocking Joe Biden at the presidential debate for his habit of wearing masks. 

Sen. Mike Lee and former Gov. Chris Christie, who tested positive as well, were captured on video hugging other attendees in the Rose Garden. Our own University President, Father John Jenkins, was also present, flouting both mask and social distancing guidance. He has since announced

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South Carolina father helps police arrest man accused of looking at teen in bathroom, reports say

A group of fathers helped police arrest a registered sex offender accused of looking at a 15-year-old girl in the restroom of a Cracker Barrel in South Carolina, reports say.

Douglas Lane, 53, is facing charges of voyeurism, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from a reported incident in Duncan on Sunday morning, according to Fox5 Atlanta.

Duncan police Chief Carl Long told WSPA that a 15-year-old girl at the restaurant reported seeing a man peering at her from underneath the bathroom stall.

Douglas Lane was tackled by a group of fathers in the restaurant's parking lot, police reportedly say. (Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office)

Douglas Lane was tackled by a group of fathers in the restaurant’s parking lot, police reportedly say. (Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office)

KANSAS CITY POLICE IDENTIFY 1-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN TRIPLE SHOOTING 

The girl told her father what happened and an employee coaxed Lane out of the bathroom, the station adds.

Long told WSPA that the girl’s father confronted Lane and a witness said he went “running, sprinting out the front door” of the restaurant “with a very bloody nose.”

Long said Lane tried to flee, but was tackled and restrained by a group until police arrived, WSPA reports.

Lane’s phone reportedly was seized by police after it was found on the bathroom floor. One witness told WSPA that the 15-year-old wasn’t the only woman in the restroom at time.

“I’ll never forget the way they looked after,” that witness said. “They were traumatized.”

Government records show that Lane, of Charlotte, N.C., has been a registered sex offender in that state since 2004 because he was convicted of secretly looking into a room with 8- and 9-year-olds inside, according to Fox5 Atlanta.

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He also was charged with crimes connected to peeping at least eight  other times, according to WSPA. Lane is reportedly being held on a $2,000 bond.

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Timothy Howard McCaffrey jailed for manslaughter of father

A man whose moment of “senseless” rage caused the death of his father, all over a dispute about watering the garden, has been handed a five-year jail term.

Timothy Howard McCaffrey never intended to seriously hurt or kill his father, David Howard McCaffrey, when a loud argument broke out between the pair over Timothy’s water usage.

But in a matter of seconds, the 45-year-old escalated the argument by grabbing his father and pushing him, leading to a tragic outcome for the family.

Facing Brisbane Supreme Court on Tuesday, family members wept as Justice Thomas Bradley sentenced Timothy to a five year jail term.

With time already served in custody since 2018, his sentence was suspended for five years.

Timothy had pleaded guilty to manslaughter in August for the unlawful killing of David, 69, in April 2018.

The court was told Timothy was watering plants at the family’s Clontarf home on April 23, 2018, when he was confronted by David.

Crown prosecutor Christopher Cook said an argument broke out between the pair about Timothy “using too much water”.

The argument continued inside, culminating in a confrontation on the stairs where Timothy grabbed his father’s throat for a few seconds, causing him to lose his balance.

Mr Cook said there was a stark difference in size between the pair, with Timothy weighing over 90kg at the time compared to his “fragile” father’s 54kg frame.

Timothy then pushed his father, where he fell from the first step of the house landing and hit his head on the floor.

“The defendant heard a loud crack… he saw his father twitch and squirm, he turned blue and was not breathing,” Mr Cook said.

David McCaffrey was rushed to hospital but died of head injuries some time later.

Mr Cook said while Timothy had no intention to kill, his behaviour was “violent” and had caused the tragic loss of life.

The court was told the pair had a history of animosity and there were instances of verbal abuse and violence from David towards family members.

Defence lawyer Jessica Horne said her client was remorseful for his actions and had been “overcome” with grief and sorrow.

She told the court prior to his father being taken to hospital, Timothy had performed CPR on him.

Ms Horne said Timothy was seeking treatment for his mental health issues and wished to re-engage with work and his church.

In sentencing Timothy to five years’ jail, Justice Thomas Bradley said any sentence imposed “will always, in some sense, feel inadequate to deal with the loss of a person who was for many years a member of your family.”

But he said an ordinary person would have seen death as a potential consequence.

“To view the events as limited to those that occurred on the day… would be to take a rather truncated view of things,” Justice Bradley said.

“I take into account the fact you had many decades of living with the knowledge and consequences of your father’s wholly inappropriate acts

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Father Creates Sunflower Garden to Honor Late Teen Daughter Who Lost Battle With Cancer

One man has taken his grief and turned it into new life as he has planted a garden to honor his daughter and wife who both passed away. Tony Brawner endured two heartbreaking losses. First, the passing of his daughter, Amy, from cancer when she was just 14 years old in 1997. Then, 12 years later, Brawner lost his wife.

He planted Amy’s Garden just last year to help him cope but now the sunflowers are now helping comfort Tony’s community.

About 40 people a day come by “Amy’s Garden” in Tennessee.

“I don’t want to be bitter, I have been at times, I’m not gonna deny that,” he admitted to Inside Edition Digital.

The garden was one way for him to process his loss and keep his loved ones close but also helping others enjoy the flowers with his daughter as the part of nature coming from the ground and her mom always close by as the butterfly in the area.

“I have a lot of faith and trust God’s plan is the way to go,” he said.

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