Monday, March 21, 2011


The reality is, that my students live in a very dangerous and unpredictable neighborhood. I'm there everyday and know the friendly faces, so it is easy to be naive to the crime and the drugs, but that was very quickly broken down for me at work this evening.

Tonight as I was teaching my lesson I had the back door to our classroom open to let the nice breeze come in. At 6:32pm we heard shots fired just  a few feet outside the door, and saw men with guns running past our window shooting at each other. My kids got immediately silent. We quickly shut the door, closed the blinds and continued with our lesson. Without skipping a beat. I didn't want to alarm them, so I just acted like things were normal. That ISN'T normal. Problem is... these kids see things like this way too often, and they just accept it.

I haven't been that scared in a long time. The reality is, that I'm not the one who needs to be scared... because I have a safe place to come home to every night and THAT is what really broke my heart tonight. These kids didn't choose a life of poverty, they were born into it and because of that factor they don't have the same sense of security that most of us grew up with.

I don't want this experience to make me feel bad for these kids, I hope that this will help me to continually encourage them to be better than this. To go places, and be proud of their accomplishments. To not become the people that they are currently threatened by. To break the cycle of poverty.

Let's just say it was a rough way to start the week... and there are hardly enough words in the world to describe how much I ABSOLUTELY HATE GUNS.


  1. what the whaaat, you just kept teaching and didn't say anything about it?? cops??

  2. Lots of cops haha The thing is that I didn't really need to say anything to them about it because they knew what it was. We had a volunteer in the room that said "woah, are those fireworks" and pretty much every kids in the room set him straight and said "no, they're shooting out there". We had cops escort them home, and escort us to our cars. Life in the projects :)

  3. but like, ya'll didn't lay on the ground or anything?

  4. No hitting the ground... I wasn't really sure what the protocol was for something like this, since I'm a little new to it haha there was only about a dozen shots fired, and the guys were gone about as fast as they came. We ended up talking about it in my class tonight because one of my little boys raised his hand during a silent moment and said "Mrs. Richards, do you remember that time that there was shooting outside our room? That was really scary :( " I think we all got a little more closure after talking about it.

  5. yeah that is seriously crazy, ryan always tells me that the cheaper bullets people buy are the ones that will go through walls/windows and not bust on impact. that's why i asked about hitting the ground cause one stray bullet could have gone right through your classroom wall...


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