Thursday, April 27, 2006

more details

The older brother of one of my students was the target of the "altercation" yesterday afternoon. Five bullets were fired from one car towards another at the intersection of our school. One bullet grazed the brother's head, causing him to collide into a cement truck. A suspect (I'm unclear whether this was the brother or the shooter) then jumped out of the car and started running through the neighborhood and into the project housing, where police quickly caught him. Luckily no one bothered or attempted to run towards the school. A few teachers who glimpsed the scene saw the car's transmission fluid all over the road and instantly feared it was blood.

It's amazing that no one was seriously injured. My student was not at school today. I wonder how he's dealing with all this. I wonder how he deals (present continuous tense) with all this.

Two points. 1) Daniel, you may be right that this is a way of life, but it gives me pause and causes me to question how much do I want this to be part of my life, even tangentially. 2) At lunch, a few other teachers scoffed that it was clearly gang related. A student teacher (a social studies teacher, one who gets worked up about all the right social causes) began asking pointed questions: how do we know it's gang related? He's right. Suburban schools haul in psychologists whenever there's a school shooting and delve deeply into underlying causes of the violence or possible trauma of the victims, but when it's in a poor, minority neighborhood, everyone always assumes it's "just gang violence."


Blogger John said...

how many whites are in prison?

8:10 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

Not enough? Is that a trick question?

Actually, I'm one of those "liberals" who'd rather the guilty go free than the innocent be wrongly imprisoned. ...unless you're Joseph K. Made a helluva good story with the best last line I've ever read.

9:18 PM  
Blogger Hamel said...

Colors shouldn't matter. The fact that a student was involved in a shooting that isn't investigated should matter.

4:41 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

It was the older brother, a dropout, not my student who was involved. And the police are undoubtedly investigating, but their investigation isn't public (and rightly so). I think it's more the popular perceptions and the amount of resources spent on the issue that bothered the young teacher-to-be.

6:01 AM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

I hate lazy reporting. The only thing I hate more than that is lazy preconcieved reporting.

Slipping bogus quotes into an article is lazy. In fact, if the teacher didn't say it, it's borderline libelous.

And I have a big problem with the 'related' crimes. Gang-related, drug-related...according to who?

Reporting is a hard job. Almost as hard as teaching. Too bad there aren't many that are good at it.

I'm glad you and your charges are all safe.


11:38 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Apologies if I seemed flippant, so meant to be that way, just bemused I suppose and a little at a loss.

It is hard times when we become used to these kind of things, the scar tissue grows too thick I think.

12:08 PM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

Glad to hear your student is still a student and not a dropout like his older brother! Maybe he can help stop the trend in his family...

2:36 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Unfortunately there's nothing left to say that's profound or passably poignant.

Social conditions mixed with the Second Amendment equal disporportionate gun violence. Truly a case where the sum is just a jaded mashing of the parts.

But, the thankful observation that the school was left alone offers a silver lining, yes?

10:41 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

BP, To their credit, the reporters said nothing about gang violence, it was just the water cooler rumor.

Daniel, No apologies needed. Especially when you speak the truth.

Notsocranky, Part of that has to do with the fact that his parents get a $300 fine when he's absent from school over a certain number of days. That said, I'm crossing my fingers, too.

Col Dr., It's a silver lining I'll gladly take.

6:30 PM  
Blogger mal said...

what people do not tumble to or conveniently forget is gang violence in LA area schools has a long history. In my Dads experience, it dates back to WW II and happened in the then agricultural communities of Orange County. It was certainly going on when I was attending the suburban schools of Orange County circa 1970.

And can we just point at LA and not ignore the school violence in other parts of the country (eg. Red Lake and Columbine)?

Is this something new? Or is it just better reported? I would be curious

1:24 PM  
Blogger mal said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:24 PM  

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