Sunday, August 20, 2006

The Streets Got Him First

That's the headline on an article about the killings in Oakland this year, many of whom are teenagers. One couple has lost 3 sons to homicides in Oakland. It makes my heart hurt. I just wonder how long it will be until it's a kid I know - and when I think about how devastating that would be - for me as a teacher- I just don't know how the families of these kids deal with it.

I also don't know what to do. It's easy to get cynical and hopeless. I've heard teachers talk about second graders, saying that it was too late for these kids. You have to get them earlier to make a difference. Those kids are SEVEN YEARS OLD. But if you were around them, you'd see that it's easy to believe that it's too late.

I've heard that several of my former students are in juvenile hall. My oldest former students are only 13 years old. I don't know which ones are incarcerated, but I'm going to work on finding out and writing to. I'm not sure it will make any difference, but then, we don't know if ANY of this makes a difference. All you can do is hope and pray that it does, and keep doing whatever you can...

5 comments:

Jessica said...

Van JOnes at Ellen Baker Center (? I think that's right) in oakland would probably be able to point you in the right direction.

Bronwyn said...

in the right direction for finding out? or...?

Jessica said...

For finding them specifically, and he may have other ideas as well.

He works on prison reform in the policy sense, and he's a very thoughtful person. I would think he has a relationships with people who work in or near the prison system.

Bronwyn said...

Thanks! I'll try that!

Jessica said...

http://www.ellabakercenter.org/page.php?pageid=25&contentid=38