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I am a high school English teacher in an urban high school in Oklahoma City. I am a member of the American Federation of Teachers, Local 2309. I am a Democrat, a union activist and a worker for social justice. I also am a Christian (Congregationalist). I play chess and coach our school chess team.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Sad Day at School Today

John Marshall High School, Oklahoma City, OK

As you may know, I teach at an urban high school in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. We have all the usual problems of an urban school that is over 70% African American, over 85% free or reduced lunch recepients. We have gangs, drugs, children from single-parent familes, and even zero-parent families. And our children have violence in their lives.

Thursday, yesterday, a female student, one of mine, was killed in a fight with another female student. As I understand it, they were arguing over some man who had fathered both of their children. The girl who was killed was a senior less that 2 weeks away from her graduation. She was in my senior English class and was a member of our school's National Honor Society. As I said, she had recently given birth to a boy who will now grow up without a mother or a father present in his life. And so the cycle of poverty continues. The girl had decided that she needed to get her life in order, so she was training to become a nurse at one of our Career Tech centers.

I am sick over this. I had had this girl in another class. I saw her develop from an immature kid to a woman of promise. Now her life is over and her family is left to pick up the pieces. At times I wonder why I stay in public education, particularly at an urban school. However, I know, deep down inside, that this is where I am supposed to be; this is part of God's plan for my life.

I would appreciate your thougths and prayers for my students as well as for me.

1 comment:

Rena said...

I am so sorry to hear about this. I can't imagine having to deal with these issues so close at hand, and be supportive and helpful in the face of such adversity these young people face. Stay strong!

And thanks for your blog -- just found it and am bookmarking it.