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I am the art teacher for a small Catholic school in central Pennsylvania.
We average about 250 children from preschool through eighth grade. Most of
the staff has been in place for about 15 or more years. We know our
children and their families. Many of the families are working on the third,
fourth, and fifth generation in the school. Nice school, safe, good
education, nice middle class/blue collar community. Most of our kids are
the sons and daughters of the doctors and lawyers...we charge tuition.
Well, last year a girl of 16, who had graduated two years earlier, hanged
another girl, age fifteen and left her in the woods for a week hidden under
The child's family had begged for help and the "system" refused sending her
back to her family to solve her "problems".
Her grandmother loved and cared for her. Was there to help her. Tried.
The school tried to provide support and help.
The school, the teachers who knew and worked with her for years found her
difficult, very intelligent but not a real problem. Just the typical kids
stuff. This is not an area of gangs or heavy teen problems, drugs,
yeh..some. Not in this case.
The child went home after the murder because she didn't want to get into
trouble with her grandmother. She went to school on Monday and all the rest
of the week. She is now serving life without parole.
My point is this can we, as teachers, who see our "kids" for five (+/-)
hours a week, 180 days a year
see this kind of action coming? I am grieving for this child and her
family. Both families have lost what they held most dear. As a teacher, I
don't think I will ever look at another child in the same way. Ever.
We must think before we lay blame at anyone's feet.