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Tragedy on the schools beat

I subscribe to an email group in which education reporters from around the country share their knowledge of topics typically associated with schools coverage: academic programs, policies, research reports, school finances, testing and No Child Left Behind.

On days like today, it feels like I should have a different job title.

This morning, I met with the family of a Josue Lopez-Gil, a 13-year-old middle school student at Roots Academy  who was shot and killed last night — possibly, by another 13-year-old boy.

Police say the 13-year-old boy they arrested told them he also went to Roots, a new, small school on the Havenscourt campus.

Police also said there appeared to have been gang overtones.

Troy Flint, the Oakland school district spokesman, said he was told that many staff members at Roots reached out to Josue, an at-risk student who was often truant, and that they regularly met with his family.

Josue’s family also said they spent a lot of time at the school, but that they felt that their son was written off as a troublemaker. They also said Josue didn’t feel safe, and that he planned to attend a different school in the fall.

“He had this fear in his eyes,” said his sister, Yohaira Gil, 19.

courtesy photo

Katy Murphy

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

  • one more

    Oh, and comparing people to Hitler/Stalin is just never ever going to get your point across because it is so overused and overdramatic. Much more effective to politely explain things. maybe not in an emergency or other dire situation, but again, this is not that forum.

  • Nextset

    One More: I’m looking forward to more of your contributions.

    It’s going to be fun sharing viewpoints as the State declines and people express such shock at how these things can happen to them. As far as my condemning other and being rude… well, we’ll see. As far as you being offended in public discourse – Do you expect that to change anything?? Be offended. Now deal with it. Tell us how to deal with the city losing control of it’s streets. Tell me how I feel about just another dead Oakland School (more or less) Child.

    If you can’t stomach my exchanges, keep saying so. Maybe you’ll make your point better than that effort above. Because that didn’t do it.

    When people run around saying “Where have I/we/they gone wrong”, somebody just might answer them.

    And I don’t think I’m the center of the universe.. I just get to watch what happens to a parade of people who thought they were. And they are nearly all the products of the public schools.

    We are moving through historic times. And we are busy as a society taking down all the things that got us where we were. Good public schools was a real important one. Cities that functioned were important also.

    The reasons boys like the one above get killed is that likely they were not given the correct mix of judgment and skills to make it. Aly’s approach to the case struck me as exactly the problem that expresses itself in misjudgement in the streets winding up in the ER and the Courts. If you think you are going to get nothing but pats on the back from me in a public forum you are inexperienced also. If you read all this as offensive – well, maybe that is how you start your thinking process. Not my problem at all. Be offended, think about it, and return with your take on what is happening.

    I am not here to make other people feel warm and fuzzy. Least of all young people who get too much of that at school. I don’t politely explain things. Try the next door for that. What you call politeness is too often used to avoid getting to the point and stating the case. Especially in dealing with kids or people acting like kids. It’s not my style. You get what I mean?

    And as far as Hitler/Stalin comparisons, if the tactics fit then wear them. We do seem to be having a resurgence nowadays.

    Brave New World!

  • http://ibabuzz.com RuBbzZ

    i think this is for people who care about others.
    NEXTSET you need to know your role ’cause im pretty sure this is for people you want to share some wisdom with others.
    NEXTSET: WERE YOU LIKE MENTALLY HIT IN THE HEAD OR SOMETHING ‘CAUSE YOU DON’T SEEM TO CARE??? f you don’t care then you should stay away from this website ’cause you’re a party pooper???
    FREAK

  • Nextset

    Poster #53 -

    I like the party pooper analogy. Good one. And it’s intended.

    Now go enjoy your party. It’s getting late. If you want to be taken seriously, tell us something about yourself. Why should anyone care about your point of view? Where does it come from?