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What do you do when the police shoot a black man (former student of district) in the back as he is fleeing and that black man is related to your past and present students? Yes, it was gang related. (Duh, there are endemic gang problems.) What do you do when your administration says don't say a word, no recess, no taking kids out of the building, lock down? I didn't say a word like a good dog. My heart was breaking for all the kids in my class who came in sad and distraught. They knew what happened because it happened in their neighborhood. They knew because they ride the bus together from that part of town. (Isn't it nice to have segregation in 2006?) I was snapping at the kids because I was so appalled and stymied. Thank goodness I gave tests most of the morning. Why couldn't I express my grief and fear? Why couldn't they ask questions? It was a HUGE teachable moment. Whatever happened to counseling? I guess denial is wonderful thing. I'm sure on Monday it will be like nothing ever happened until next time. What race problems in our community? What drug and gang problems in our community? What about the escalating violence at the highschool? Now a new generation has learned not to trust and support the police. Was that the lesson objective?



I am so sorry that you are in the middle of such a horrible situation. Has a shooting ever happened before in this area (can I assume yes?) How did the school deal with it then? I would think that some counciling should be provided to help students cope. I think that your school needs to develop a program to deal with gangs and the negative influence the environment is presenting to the children. Your district needs to get their heads out of the sand and find a way to address gangs and the academic, physical, emotional threat they present to your students.

The only advice I can offer is try to make your room a place of safety for your students.


Senior Member

It may be that the anger was so much that it would have caused an outbreak in the schols. I imagine they were thinking to wait until the situation cooled a bit. Good or bad decision I am not sure because I don't know the kids in your school. In our school that would not be necessary. In yours it may have been in the best interest of everyone. I do hope though that they bring in someone to talk with the kids when they feel that the time is right.
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I am in an inner city school where death, murder (often students, 12 and 13), poverty, etc. are the norm. Regardless of how often these occurrances take place, we are always prepared to help the students cope with these situations. We have a committee from the area consisting of church members, business owners, and counselors from all of our "feeder" schools. All available counselors district wide and all available psychologists district wise. It is made clear on announcements that these people are available to talk and can send a note to the office with the attendance card or later in the day if necessary. Unfortunately, not many take advantage of this because they are told at home not to talk about or mention anything that happens in the neighborhood. What happens in the neighborhood stays in the neighborhood.