Monday, March 27, 2006


As if we needed reminding that we're in the ghetto:

My student's uncle was killed this Saturday. In broad daylight, as they say. Right by his house, less than a mile from our school. Apparently he owed someone money. This is the 33rd homicide this year in Oakland, when last year at this time, there were 14. Great. We're on a record-breaking pace. Oakland's not a very big city - 33 homicides by now is a LOT. Or maybe it just feels like more when I know the kids affected.

The story we're reading right now in our reading curriculum is called Four Dollars and Fifty Cents. It is the story of a cowboy who, in an attempt to evade the debt collectors, plays dead, gets taken to the graveyard, gets caught, scares a bunch of robbers away and gets an reward. The reading program is big on "making connections" - finding bits of the stories that are like events in their own lives, characters that are like people they know, etc. So this kid busts out with, "This is just like what happened to my uncle, except they really did kill my uncle when he owed money.

What do you say to that?

1 comment:

blancaunderhill said...

thaks for the up-dates.
The pain those kids carry pains me , I wonder how I could help.
I will pray. I have seen things change, when I've prayed.