A tribute to Charles Albert Poland

from Craig Masters

At the age of sixty-five Charles Poland was tough enough to stand up and die for the kids on his school bus. All but one followed Poland’s instructions to get out the back door while he jumped to his feet and blocked the aisle. Although unarmed and unable to defend himself or the children on the bus, he was able to stand his ground, almost long enough, in spite of being shot multiple times. The one little boy who simply didn’t get up and exit became the lone hostage of the crazed gunman.

It was widely reported that 5-year old Ethan suffered with asperger’s syndrome. One of the trademark behaviors of children with asperger’s is their dislike for any changes in their routines. Many do not respond to changes in the tones of voices. Sadly, it may well be that Ethan was not willing to respond to Mr. Poland’s hurried speech for the kids to run out the back door. He was more than likely sitting exactly where he wanted to stay until it was time to get off the bus at home.

Charles Albert Poland, another unarmed victim who died as a human shield protecting children. God rest his soul.

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