"Education is not a product: mark, diploma, job, money; It is a process, a never-ending one." -bel kaufman

Wednesday, March 03, 2004



i'm fighting back tears at this moment, it's getting harder to hold them in. no, it's not fear. i personally do not feel threatened. i feel scared for my students and the bullets threatening each one of them, threatening the darkness of their skin and the colors of the clothes they wear.

one of my students was shot today in his right calf just below the knee.
11:50am. i heard yelling and looked out the window. nothing unusual, i said to myself. i saw a few students run past the window. when i saw this student of mine raise his arms up and bang on the van next to him, i saw anger and not humor. then i saw him limping and i was running out the door. i couldn't think straight and he couldn't hear me telling him to come my way. i tried to get him to sit down, only listening to my outdated first aid training telling me to take the weight off his leg and administer pressure on the wound to clot the blood. i wasn't thinking about gangs and weapons and territory. all i could see or hear was this student of mine, and another boy on a cell phone yelling to the police operator on the other end. and the boy with the bullet in his leg, he could only hear himself and the pain in his leg telling him he has enemies... how he now has more buisness to take care of. his jeans had spots of blood soaked through the fabric. i couldn't tell where the bullet had entered. it still didn't seem real to me. maybe there was no bullet. i didn't hear the gunshot. i looked up towards the school and saw the principal, frantically mouthing words in the distance (everything had gone silent) and motioning for us to come back to the building, to get inside. danger? oh god, this is no place for him to be, limping on the curb, still out on the street. we are in danger--everyone on this scene is in danger.

nothing more, just cops and questions, and me standing the the background fighting off tears that i feel are coming from my student, not me. cause i can't identify what this pain is. it is the danger that i don't face. it is the fear my students hide behind their egos. this pain is knowing they can't run away from the only life they know.


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