November 17, 2003 - 2:04 pm

Today my students spent a large part of their day working on art projects. Posters of all colors decorated with hearts, crosses, angels and all sorts of other symbols.

see, one of my students was killed this weekend. he was 15 years old.

tomorrow, i'm coming to help make iron-on t-shirts "in loving memory".

15 years old.

apparently he and his friend had a fight over a stolen car, over who's turn it was to drive it apparently.

his friend pulled out a gun and shot him. just like that. took his life, because it was his turn to drive.

he was 15 years old.

when i first got this job i knew this was going to happen. i hated thinking about it, i would look around at all these kids that i had come to love and think to myself "they won't all make it to graduation and it won't be just becuase their grades aren't good enough".

i just didn't think it would be so soon.

everyone asks "what is happening? what is happening to these families and these kids in our ghettos?"

i don't know and i hate not knowing.

all i know is that one of my students is dead. all i know is that i walked in this morning and our principal showed me an essay he had been working on in saturday school that ended "on Monday i am going to do better".

he tried. it wasn't his fault that he was born into the family and environment that he was born into. all he knew was what was around him.

a father who stopped caring long ago.

no mother.

an older brother who had also been killed under unnecessary violent circumstances.

a nephew (his older brother's son, in fact) who had been shot in a driveby shooting.

none of this was his fault. none of it. how could he help any of this.

now, we're left without him.

without the possibility of knowing if on Monday he was going to do better.

we'll never know.

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