Coping with Tragedy, 101


Last week, we checked in with first-year EXCEL High School teacher Andy Kwok about how he and his students dealt with the nonfatal drive-by shooting behind the McClymonds campus in December.

It turns out that they coped with the scare, at least in his classroom, by focusing on biology — cell reproduction and genetics. In all but one class, the students decided to talk about science, not violence. For Kwok, it proved to be a much-needed “distraction” from the upsetting event, in which one of his students was injured.

Here’s a link to the story, and to the video by Jane Tyska. To see the previous pieces on Kwok’s year, click here.

Katy Murphy

Education reporter for the Oakland Tribune. Contact me at kmurphy@bayareanewsgroup.com.

  • Alice

    This is just my opinion, but I know your articles regarding EXCEL HS on the McClymonds Educational Complex deal with articles and experience from a first year teacher, but I think you should give focus to some things that are happening at BEST HS also located on the campus. I think it should be noticed that the security officer serves both schools, and one of the shooting victims was a student at BEST. I wish to suggest you look into the Culinary ARTS Academy, headed by Chef LeBlanc and the Construction Trade Archetectural Academy,headed by Mr. Joh Smith which now is partnering with the Port of Oakland. Not only is this school offering academic sckills, but “Life Skills”. There are good things happening along with the bad, and remember this is just one teachers perspective in his area of focus. Why don’t you interview Mr. Gray, the Princial and possibly you will find new teachers who teach at the BEST School who will give you their perspective of their experiences at BEST HS, located on the same campus, there may be differences.