Thursday, June 22, 2006


Police and district custodial staff were hosing down blood spattered across the pavement around our school when I drove into the parking lot this morning.

The shooting occurred last night at 8:30 on the school basketball courts. An 11-year-old was killed from a .22 bullet in his back. His older brother, a quiet, decent kid and one of my former students, was shot in the arm. A custodian heard five shots and quickly ushered the kids into the building, not knowing if the shooter was still around or not. The wounded boy was carried into our staff lounge by a sixth-grader who hoisted him on his shoulders. The custodian called school police, and an ambulence arrived in minutes. Meanwhile the older brother had taken off running when he himself was shot, trailing blood all over the school grounds. He got about a block away before realizing his little brother wasn't with him, so he turned around and sprinted back. I can't imagine the fear, the courage, the horror he experienced.

Senseless violence. It's getting to all of us.

Apparently it was not gang-related, though it could have been. The suspect is an outside 16-year-old from out of town. He accosted a group of a half-dozen kids on the courts and asked where they were from. The boys said, "nowhere," and next thing they knew he was shooting at them. From nowhere.


Blogger Stormmaster said...

I can't imagine what it must feel like seeing violence and death getting so close to you and the other children at school.
Somehow I can't get my brain to accept the fact that the world is no longer as safe as it was 20 years ago, when I went to school.
Be safe.

1:36 AM  
Blogger Notsocranky Yankee said...

It's so hard for me to imagine kids who are my daughter's age seeing and experiencing such violence. All that money going to Iraq to "protect" Iraqi citizens and we can't even take care of our own children.

Please be careful!

4:31 AM  
Blogger United We Lay said...

I don't even know what to say. Burn-out occurs most often in schools and among teachers who witness the amount of violence you have. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this, and even sorrier that your students do. If there's anything I can do, whether it be personally, politically, etc..., please let me know. All of our children have the right to a safe education. I hope that your children will not be attendign school in the district in which you teach. I know that many teachers find it hypocritical not to send their kids to public school where they teach, but I feel that the safety of our kids is much more important than what someone else thinks, and the quality of education they receive has a significant impact on their futures. You can do your best to improve the quality for others and still make sure your children are getting the best and safest education possible.

I agree with cranky. We're spendign so much money on Iraq and rebuildign a city that's below sea level and we can't even make sure our children are not getting shot at on the playground.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Leslie said...

That must've been scary for you to come on that. Geez! Kids today.

12:21 PM  
Blogger Balloon Pirate said...

Keep being a positive influence for as long as you can. I admire you to no end.


2:37 PM  
Blogger Kari and Randy said...

I can't believe this happened at your school. How very tragic for everyone.

4:24 PM  
Blogger Old Man Rich said...

Sometimes your world scares me. In our little backwater something like that would be item 1 on the national news for a week. Questions in the commons, public outrage, the whole hoo-har. In your world it seems, well almost casual. One of those things. I dont know what to say. Except maybe people owning guns should be a crime rather than a civil right.

stay safe.

5:11 AM  
Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

Jesus Christ.

9:04 AM  
Blogger Jessica said...

It made front page on the LA Times online edition. If nothing else, people are outraged.

5:16 PM  
Blogger James said...

I'm very sorry to hear about this. It makes me absolutely sick. Whether it was gang-related or not is irrelevant because nearly all of our kids are growing up in a world of violence be it the suburbs or the inner city. I teach at a juvenile detention facility in a mainly rural/suburban county and the lives those kids have led, the things they've seen to harden them, are often absolutely atrocious. I sometimes worry that there is no safe place for today's kids.

I spend a great deal of time working with a summer camp for childhood cancer patients. Here's a truly scary thing: for many poor kids, kids from nowhere, their chances of surviving to adulthood go up when they get diagnosed with cancer because they'll get more social support.

Horrifying. Just truly horrifying.

9:39 AM  

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