by

June 13, 2013

Do you like this?

Throngs of people gathered around the gazebo in Idlewild Park Wednesday evening.  Small groups added to the hundreds already there as the sun began to set.  It is a rare event when this many people are so somberly quiet; so quiet that you could hear every comforting pat, every embrace, and every whispered word of condolence.  The men and women stood shoulder to shoulder, pressed in tight, to honor the memory of Samuel Cross, a local teen that was found dead earlier this week.

Organized by Sam’s friends, the candlelight vigil served as an opportunity for his loved ones to share prayers, songs, and stories of Sam.  From the side of an alter comprised of pictures, flowers, and candles, the devastated, confused teens addressed the crowd through choked words to comfort each other and try to make sense of the tragedy.

As the sunlight faded, the orange glow of the candles lit the faces of the mourners.  Once the planned readings finished, friends came up to the microphone to share cherished memories from their time with Sam.  With each heartfelt story, the mood of the crowd shifted.  Several of the later tales even coaxed nostalgic laughter out of the gathering, laughter that had an audible tell of relief.

One of the last groups to take center stage sang Home by Phillip Phillips; a fitting closure to the heartbreaking event.

Hold on, to me as we go / As we roll down this unfamiliar road / And although this wave is stringing us along / Just know you’re not alone / Cause I’m going to make this place your home

It is always tragic to lose someone we love; even more so when they are taken from us before their time.  If we can take anything away from this event, it is that Sam was loved and that he will live on in the memory of so many friends and family members.

A memorial service will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2013 at Trinity Cathedral, 315 Goldsborough Street, Easton.

by

June 13, 2013

Comments (35)

Comment Feed

Subject

Fact of the matter is this article doesn't mentioned any details of SAMs death, only his vigil. If you want to discuss his death, do it in the proper forum. And this kind of libelous defamation of EHS/TCPS administration is absurd. Unsubstantiated claims are irrelevant. This is still the USA, where the burden of proof is on the complaintant, not the defendant. Move to England if you don't like it.

Friend 208 days ago

All you need is love.

To those making ignorant general comments: You are twisting this around to make it seem as though this was only a drug problem. You are too ignorant to realize that he did not die of drugs. You did not know him nor did you know the life he lived. So how dare you suggest that because he went to private school it caused his death. How dare you post something so ridiculously out of line. You have no right to claim something of which you did not know. Sam Cross was a prince of peace. He spread nothing but love, acceptance and friendship. So do not for one second belittle him. We should all take notice to how sam led his life. In fact, most people on here should realize how sam lived his life. He lived through acceptance, love and forgiveness. Not blame, not gossip, and not lies. Noone knows what happened that night. So do not imply that you do. Keep to what you know & love and forgive one another. Sam taught to live in the moment and to appreciate life so how about you go out there and do the same.

anon. 271 days ago

Sam Cross

Playing the blame game on whether this is a private or public school problem is pointless and solves NOTHING. This only divides the community, the parents, the students further and pointing fingers diverts the attention of the problem away from a solution. If your looking for a cause of a symptom, look to this problem first at it's origin. No one is searching for a cure or a cause, everyone is looking for someone else to blame. Come on Talbot County community, we have enough division, socially, economically and spiritually in this county and that in itself, contributes to this issue in a HUGE way. Come together with constructive ideas and work together to show the kids that we can support each other in this community without anger, blame, division and hostility. The arrogant attitude sets a tone for these kids that they need to escape from.....hence, getting high on drugs. "It takes a village, to raise a child", not a segregated one, but a "joined" community.

Blair Blizzard 297 days ago

here here!

Well said Blair and I couldn't agree more! There are children using drugs in all socioeconomic backgrounds in this county. As adults we have to take a stand, find solutions and take a good look at ourselves. Parents can no longer continue to say "it's just pot" or "as long as their drinking at home I can keep an eye on them". Changes have to be made and soon before there is another tragic death.

Beth Chatham 297 days ago

Talbot County Public Schools

I am a subscriber to TCPS_Today@ezcommunicator.com email alerts and was very surprised that todays Parent Coalition meeting that was held , where 120 attended was not announced to the parents. I do know for a fact that the event was emailed to the parents of SSPP and Country school. Would the superintended please tell me why the notice was not sent out? If you are also a subscriber to the TCPS email alerts and did get notice, please let me know so.

Parent in Talbot County 297 days ago

It has nothing to do with drugs

It has to do with Matt's state of mind. I went to high school with him. He bullied my friend for being gay. He's always been a mean spirited kid in high school that I've known. It's not the drugs. All kids do drugs but you don't see them all killing each other, now do you? This was an awful tragedy, but do you ever stop and think maybe it's because the kid is messed up in the head?

Matt's classmate 298 days ago

in reply to tragic

It starts at the top in our county - when drugs and alcohol are tolerated in our schools - we have a problem -
when the principal and now superintendent covers up drug use by students - we have a problem -
ask your kids they know

before everyone comes to her defense - ask your kids

blame the top 304 days ago

Blaming the superintendent?!

Trying to blame the superintendent for the drug problem in our community is absurd. She didn't raise these kids and many of the kids using drugs even come into didn't enter her educational jurisdiction until high school or didn't at all. Drug education starts in elementary school and middle school and in the home. Our community has a serious drug problem and the responsibility begins in the home, not with the superintendent or high school principals. Ignorance and denial is not going to help the children of our community.

A Concerned Parent 303 days ago

are you kidding?

Please remember that these children went to private schools. So I guess now you want to blame SSPP High School, Fr. Coine or Country School? How about we make our children responsible for their poor choices? People can be the best parents in the world and their children still end up making poor choices. Yes there is a drug problem in this county. Yes we need to come together and do something about it. BUT it's time to hold these teenagers accountable for their actions and inaction on the night of Sam's death!

just another concerned parent 303 days ago

blame the top

any adult in our county who turns a blind eye to the drug abuse in our county is responsible. That includes the parents and the people in charge who do nothing, Who look the other way and let the kids with connected parents skate - that includes the police and the superintendent - the schools are full of drug use and the drug culture expands for many of our youth in our schools - especially the high school. No more ostrich in the sand people - you either want to fix this or you don't. Yes the kids should be held accountable - but many look to adults for direction - the direction this school system is pointing these kids in is the wrong one. Parents be aware! in reply to tragic is right - the kids will tell you who uses and who has been caught and who has gotten away with drug use at school - this is not new - it happened alot when the superintendent was the principal at easton high - you cannot change the facts. just ask the students

sad for the kids 302 days ago

Examples

Well I wonder, this area has such an adult cocaine and pills problem too, are some of the parents part of same prob?

Desk 302 days ago

Blame the top?

For one, the superintendent was never the principal at Easton High and drug use often starts in middle school and this tragic event involved kids who weren't at the public middle school. Every principal, headmaster and guidance counselor in this county has a responsibility to be proactive about the drug problem in this county. If the citizens of Talbot County want to continue to blame the superintendent and the high school, then the problem will not be solved. There is very much a drug problem in the private schools and ignoring it is a big mistake. So stop hiding behind ignorance and pointing the figure at one person. If you're going to do that, then look at the common thread of the kids involved in this sad nightmare as well as the heroin overdose of a local young man in April - all went to The Country School. Does that make their headmaster responsible? Please, stop making ignorant accusations and start coming up with real solutions to help our community.

A sad, concerned parent 302 days ago

yes blame the top

I agree with the observation that there is a link between our drug problems and the schools. Look at the link - most of the students end up at Easton High. And yes the superintendent of our schools Kelley Griffith has been the principal at Easton High, Easton Middle, Easton Elementary and Chapel District Schools. I wouldn't call that a plus for Talbot County. Regardless, students know her to turn the other way when drugs and alcohol are involved with some students. That is a fact. She would rather fire an employee for not covering it up than place "some" students on detention or suspension for drug and alcohol abuse. This must stop if we want our students safe. Is she the only problem? No, but to ignore the tolerance of drug abuse by any adult in charge of our children's safety is a mistake. And to say that someone is making an ignorant observation is going a bit too far. Especially when the observation is valid and should be explored. How many students were suspended for drug use while Ms. Griffin was the principal at any of these schools? It is public record at least the numbers are. How are parents supposed to make informed decision on their child's safety when they don't have all the facts (drug abuse in our schools). Most parents look at the data provided by our schools as an indicator of success and safety before enrolling. The numbers do not correspond with reality. With drug abuse so rampant in our community the numbers should be very high. They are not, the numbers are extremely low. That observation speaks volumes.

we are all concerned 302 days ago

Baffling?

The focus on blaming principals and the superintendent is baffling. Kelly Griffith has not been the EHS principal for 4-5 years, she's been at the board office for quite some time and this summer she becomes the interim superintendent, taking over for Dr. Salmon who has been the superintendent for about 10 years. I'm just not seeing the logic in wanting to blame Mrs. Griffith or Dr. Salmon or any school administrator. Why are they responsible for their students behavior on the weekends? If random drug searches are held, which they are at the public high schools, and nothing is found, you can't suspend students for hearsay and rumors. And are the private schools holding random drugs searches? What role do the parents play in educating their children about drugs and enforcing rules and consequences? And I believe Sam Cross never attended public school so this obsession with blaming public school administrators is truly baffling and depressing because it's not constructive and detracts from looking at the drugs in ALL the schools because private school students are using drugs to and their drug use didn't necessarily start at EHS or SMMHS, it began when they were in middle school at The Country School or SSPP. Again, trying to place the blame on one group of people is not constructive and creates unnecessary divisions. Let's use logic and compassion to find solutions to help the children of our community.

A baffled, sad and concerned parent 302 days ago

The Blame Game

As a high school teacher in this county, I can assure you the problem is much greater than any principal or super can deal with alone. I have been in room many times when parents denied child's drug abuse. This is a community problem, a massive concern, which both schools and parents need to take accountability for. Enough with blame, let's focus on action before it results in more tragedies.

Talbot County Teacher 297 days ago

Contact the States Attorneys Office

As troubling as this story is, the fact that the death of this young man is full of speculation and rumors and we do not have clear facts and information on this case makes it very scary for most parents in Talbot County.
The States Attorney in Talbot County, Scott Patterson (phone (410) 770-8060) should be sharing information with the public. There should be clear information coming from the leaders in our community and not just gossip from kids.
Many parents are trying to make sense of this event from every angle - and to do so without clear information is harmful. As parents we want the facts - we want to make sure that this is handled above board and no special treatment is given because of status or the proximity of the kids involved with the people in the police department of the states attorneys office.
We want to know that all kids are as safe as possible.
We cannot fix this in our county until we know what is broken.

concerned parent 304 days ago

Parent Resource


Resourceful enewletter from Talbot Parent Coalition
http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/home/?u=a7557a79422a2f1ce04c1b4e1&id=7424835e3d

Mary 310 days ago

Sam Cross

What a beautiful piece, Nicholas Richards, and a fantastic photo. Another loss of a young person, one of our own, is so sad for everyone.

Kathy Bosin 311 days ago

So sad

I did not know Sam Cross. But everyone I know who did speaks of what a wonderful kid he was. As a parent, I am heartbroken for his family and his friends, horrified and scared of my own children getting older and facing deadly situations. I hope the full truth of what happened that night is brought into the light, not hidden away like we in Talbot County tend to do with our dark secrets. There are problems here, there are entitled, dangerous people who act with a sense of impunity, there are parents who turn a blind eye when it's "their kid ..." I imagine there were enough people present during Sam's last night alive that the truth cannot hide forever. What a tragic, premature end to a promising life. And for what? Please, let the truth emerge.

Anonymous 311 days ago

Re: So Sad

Very well said! This is a perfect opportunity to educate everyone, parents included! There is a serious problem impacting our young people and it is time that we all stop sweeping it under the rug. Address the issues now or this will not be the last young person we lose too early.

Very well written Mr. Richards. May Sam Cross rest in peace and his family get comfort and understanding in this very difficult time.

Anonymous 310 days ago

Re:

Education yes, but it's also a time to seek truth and justice. Consequences for actions and inactions.

anon 310 days ago

May the truth be heard

I have learned of SO many things that have gone on with the youth in talbot co as a result of this tragedy and am appalled that it has been kept "hush hush" and nothing has been done. Everyone is SO concerned to share the truth for fear of embarrassing another. It is exactly this apathy that perpetuates this terrible behavior in our community. STAND UP and demand more from our kids! Let the chips fall where they should and quite idolizing children who's behavior is inappropriate. What is it going to take for parents to be more concerned about the type of adults they want their children to be versus if they are popular or not? Sam was a great kid, with great parents who participated in every aspect of his life. Maybe his life wouldn't have been taken away if a few more people would step up and be a parent and say "no, it's NOT ok!" to their kids

Anonymous 307 days ago

may the truth make the news

EVERY KID IN TALBOT COUNTY KNOWS WHAT HAPPENED. AND THAT THERE HAVE BEEN ARRESTS MADE. WHERE IS THE STARDEMOCRAT WITH ANY OF THIS?

JACK FROST 307 days ago

May the Truth Make the News

If all the kids in Talbot County know the truth, if they know anything at all about what happened that night, why aren't they calling the police? We have been on the phone everyday with the Maryland State Police in Pikesville, who are handling the investigation, and they are keeping silent. As of yesterday, the MSP told us they were not aware any arrests had been made. If we don't have facts and can't get them, we can't print anything. If anyone has information, PLEASE call the MSP at 410-822-3101--you will remain anonymous. If anyone would like to talk to The Star Democrat, you can call me at 410-770-4114. Jennifer Allard (staff writer)

Jennifer Allard 306 days ago

News

As a news journalist, you should continue to post articles related to this until news becomes available. If you let it disappear from the headlines, so too will the story. Maybe you should do an article about the silence from MSP and/or the above mentioned States Attorney.

Anon 304 days ago

Yes

AMEN, don't journos go after news and not wait for press release?

Tim 304 days ago

Allard... not really a journalist.

She just writes one-sided stories (WMES "hand" gun kid comes to mind). She waits until a "story" fall into her lap and then makes it up as she goes, without checking sources or verifying claims that may damage an innocent person's careers. How many times was that WMES article corrected? Now that the MSP have made an arrest, I cant wait to see what fiction comes from the desk of Jennifer Allard.

Butch 298 days ago

may the truth be heard

Yes, it would be wonderful to know the truth! There have been so many rumors flying around and very few appear to be accurate. It is a sad statement that our community feels the need to speculate, "enhance" and prolong the unfounded stories. We do have a police department working on this and a justice system. Can we take some time to grieve the loss of Sam and let others do their job? We will learn what really happened soon enough.

Anonymous 306 days ago

Tragic

There has never been a moment in my teenagers life like this. I would advise all the parents of this county to take action in your house. Look at your childs twitter and Instagram and in 5 minutes you will read things that will raise the hair on your neck. The drug culture is here in this county it's in the private schools and the public schools and its worse that our parents realize. I did not know Sam but its hard to imagine how a group of friends could abandon him on the side of the road under any circumstance. When you read how our youth communicate with each other on these sites you will see a generation who is lost.

Anonymous 305 days ago

Spot on

whoever wrote "tragic" is spot on. can't believe the things kids put out in public for the world to see. this county, this area has always had its problems, people from elsewhere when I was in college were stunned at the age our drinking habits started, etc., and we did dumb things growing up long ago but I agree this is truly evidence of by and large a lost generation. how, why and how to correct it? it's not just the fault of kids when it's so widespread, there is causation in everything. oh and once they figure out parents read their twitter they'll just find something else parents don't know about yet.

where to even begin to start to address this all?

Anon 305 days ago

just a thought

How sad and tragic this whole thing is. I looked at the beautiful picture at the top of this page and couldn't help but wonder how many of those children were with Sam on that night? Was the vigil about Sam or an attempt to clear some people's conscious? I took the opportunity after learning about Sam to talk to my teen about the choices he makes and the consequences of those actions. What has happened to parents that some have stopped parenting? When and how did these children some to believe that it is ok to leave a human being, not to mention a friend, on the side of the road to die? Is this what growing up in a priviledged home and going to private schools leads to? If this were a random child from a poor family would there have been a vigil or would people be saying, "what do you expect from THOSE kinds of people"? Are the parents of those who were with Sam going to get their children out of legal charges? Or will the justice system turn a blind eye to the matter because it happened in a priviledged community? I'm having a difficult time grppling with the fact that Sam's "friends lacked empathy. If this is how they treated him how do they treat other people? I'm betting they're the same kids who can be bullies. I hope the community comes together to work to solve this problem or we will send a bunch of young adults into the world who don't care about others or continue to feel entitled to do whatever they want

Anon 305 days ago

time

I heard a kid say the other day "Oh my god it's been a week and it still makes me sad." Wow. A whole week. What about the rest of his family's lives?

Anon 305 days ago

Remembering Sam Cross

Yes, if you have even the slightest worry about your teenager and his or her peer group, look at instagram, twitter, facebook, etc. also, grab your kid's phone and read the text messages, search their dresser drawers and their book bags and their cars. If you do these things you will be looking in the window of today's youth culture and you also will learn to what degree your teen is participating in the worst aspects -- and you will have a chance to intervene before you are standing in the emergency room or paying a lawyer or much, much worse. my teens know that they are provided a roof over their heads and lots amenities, but privacy is not guaranteed if there is even slightest reason for concern. when I have been accused of making them miserable, I express regret at their misery but I do not apologize for doing my job as a parent, and not necessarily a cool parent a good bit of the time. the older they get, the more they less they hold it against me -- at some level, I think most teens know they need guidance and expectations as well as support and encouragement.

Anonymous 301 days ago

remembering sam cross

Regarding the above actions -- these are things that parents can do much more easily than school principals and superintendents! Also, parents who want to learn more and also DO SOMETHING, something positive and as a group, should know that Talbot Partnership's Parents Coalition is having a meeting on June 26th at Denny's. It will be interesting to see if there is a big turnout for this opportunity given the new awareness of the prevalence of alcohol use, marijuana use, heroin use, prescription drug use and other substances among teens in this county.

Also Anonymous 301 days ago

are you kidding?

"Is this what growing up in a priviledged home and going to private schools leads to?"

how dare you

no 271 days ago

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