Shooting at high school leaves one student injured, one suspect at-large

volleyball
image courtesy Vince Fleming on Unsplash

All schools in the Sheridan School District in Sheridan, Colorado are closed today after a shooting Tuesday evening during a volleyball game that sent one student from a neighboring district to the hospital. The suspect is still on the loose, and while the district insists this is an “isolated incident,” they insist that all schools need to be closed.

The shooting took place in the parking lot of Sheridan High School during a girls’ volleyball game between the school and the Bruce Randolph School in Denver.

Sheridan School District No. 2 (oddly enough, the No. 1 appears to be in Wyoming) serves students in 5 schools in Sheridan, Colorado.

Sheridan High School in Sheridan, Colorado has a student population (grades 9-12) of 369 students, 78% of whom are Hispanic. They grossly underperform on math and reading, compared with the state average. Eighty-seven percent of students meet income eligibility requirements for free lunch.

There is no mention of the shooting on Sheridan School District’s website other than a big red “All Day Closure,” banner up top, also reading, “Sheridan School District 2 is closed today, October 9, 2019 due to an incident last night.” Nice and cryptic. They do have a much more direct message on their front page about accepting all students regardless of immigration status, and their refusal to support separating children from their families at the border.

The Bruce Randolph School in Denver, Colorado serves 795 students in grades 6-12. Ninety percent of their student population is Hispanic, with another 9% listed as black. They perform even worse on standardized tests than those at Sheridan, with only 5% meeting math proficiency requirements, and 14% demonstrating reading proficiency. Eighty-eight percent of students are eligible for free lunch. The school is within Denver Public School District. No mention of the shooting is on their website at all.

All Sheridan Schools Closed After Shooting Outside High School

Shooting at Sheridan High School leaves 1 injured; suspect at-large, police say

Sheridan School District NO. 2

Sheridan High School – Public School Review

Denver Public Schools

Bruce Randolph School – Public School Review

School Resource Officers, “pillars of the community”

Just a few news articles about school resource officers over the past couple weeks.

9/23/2019 – Florida school resource officer arrests, handcuffs 6-year-old girl
School resource officer fired after arresting 6-year-olds(“She was having a tantrum,” so apparently police were called in. Their hands were bound with zip ties, they were fingerprinted and charged with battery. But the officer was fired, so I guess all’s well that ends well, right?)

9/24/2019 – School resource officer faces charge after student said he choked him (A Mississippi SRO was placed on administrative leave. The student says he was pushed into the ladies’ restroom and choked. The SRO insists it’s all a lie. Witnesses, including two teachers, corroborate the student’s story.)

9/26/2019 – Alabama grandmother alleges SRO harassed middle school student (An SRO approached a group of children in the lunch room and asked “Which one of y’all’s daddies have I not arrested yet?” When a girl responded that her father hadn’t been arrested, the SRO responded with, “That’s because you don’t know who your daddy is.” This officer has an apparent history of harassing students, yet he remains on duty.)

10/1/2019 – Lawsuit alleges disabled Parma student was sprayed with drink by school resource officer prior to suspension (Ohio parents filing the lawsuit claim they have audio proving the SRO sprayed the child with a juice box as they waited for the principal. They are also claiming discrimination – the student is American, but of Arab descent. Many of these incidents involving SRO’s are allegedly racially motivated.)

10/4/2019 – Jasper Middle School resource officer resigns after probe into texts with students (The Tennessee SRO resigned even though there was found to be “nothing inappropriate” about texting middle school students at all hours of the day and night.)

10/4/2019 – School resource officer sentenced to 1 year in jail for sexually assaulting 3 high school students (A Michigan SRO pleaded no contest to charges such as criminal sexual assault of a minor, assault, and misconduct in office. One of his victims had aspirations of becoming a police officer. Now she is scarred for life. He gets a whopping year in prison.)

This woman gets it. Her article about the need to eliminate school resource officers is spot on, and advocates for the students SRO’s do not. Schools infringe on civil liberties as they are, but school resource officers only compound the issue.

Caught on video: student resource officer chokes, handcuffs high school student

handcuffs

Student resource officers are little more than glorified CO’s at the prison that is public school. While supposedly intended to promote good relations between inner city and low-income students and police officers (assuming that they are destined to deal with them regularly in the future?), these officers regularly abuse their positions, and children have little to no rights when it comes to dealing with them.

This time, it was all captured on a cell phone camera, the video taken once things became violent. A’kayla Johnson spoke about the incident with reporters, saying, “He choked me and drug me in the hallway. I couldn’t breathe while he was choking me.”

Bobby Burnett, the officer in question, is a former chief of police who was fired from that job, and wound up working at the school. He “detained” Miss Johnson apparently because she was loitering on Brinkley High School property after hours, even after she attempted to explain she was waiting for a ride home.

Johnson is now reportedly afraid to come back to school and wishes for the resource officer to be punished. School officials are, as usual, “looking into the incident,” and assure parents the district is just as concerned as they are.

Brinkley Public Schools serves 534 students in two schools in Brinkley, Arkansas. Over 65% of its students are ethnic minorities, and it is well below the state average for reading and math test scores. Brinkley is the same school district that just last month sent out a letter to parents telling them of a reported gun on one of their school buses, so maybe they feel a real need for police presence.

VIDEO: Mid-South high school student choked, handcuff by student resource officer

Brinkley School District – Public School Review

 

School administrator pulls gun on staff

auroraprep

Aurora, Colorado: home to the 2012 movie theater mass shooting that left a city, and a nation, in mourning, once again questioning what the Second Amendment means and how it should be implemented; now also home to Aurora West College Preparatory Academy, where an administrator brandished a gun at a staff meeting on Wednesday, threatening fellow employees at the school.

Tushar Rae, Dean of Instruction at the school, was arrested Wednesday on charges of bringing a concealed weapon to school and making violent threats. An arrest affidavit filed in district court says Rae took a gun from his waistband during a meeting with principal Taisiya Tselolikhin (say that name three times, fast) earlier that day, placed it on a table between them and threatened to shoot two school administrators.

The altercation apparently had something to do with test scores, and subsequently prompted a lockdown of the school while Rae left the premises – he was later arrested at his home.

A letter to families, which follows below, was made available in both English and Spanish via email and the school website. As usual, vagueness was the order of the day.

INFORMATION ABOUT THE AURORA WEST LOCKDOWN

APS Community:

I know that many of you may have questions about the lockdown that occurred at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy on Wednesday. First off, I want to thank the students and staff at AWCPA for following our safety and security protocols seamlessly. I also want to thank parents at AWCPA for their patience and support. Safety is our top priority.

We acknowledge that many of you have questions and may be frustrated. Please know that this is both an ongoing criminal investigation and personnel matter. We have many limitations we must adhere to in order to respect both processes.

During emergencies, we understand the urgent and important need to communicate with our community. Please know that we always work to share information that is timely, accurate and actionable through phone calls, emails and text messages. We cannot share information that is not confirmed, information that would compromise an ongoing criminal investigation or protected personnel information.

We have been working closely with the Aurora Police Department, Denver Police Department and other law enforcement agencies as their criminal investigation continues. Our focus remains on providing as much support to our students, staff and community as possible.

Many of you may be seeing media reports that have raised concerns. APS staff have met with AWCPA staff, students and families to address concerns. We appreciate the opportunities we have had to talk with the school community throughout this week.

We know that this event has been upsetting for students and staff. We have had and will continue to have counselors available for those who need support. Counselors will continue to be available at Aurora West on Monday and throughout next week.

I would like to thank the AWCPA family for your vigilance, teamwork and support. It has been an extremely tough week and we will continue to work together to heal, support our students and each other.  

Rico Munn
Superintendent
Aurora Public Schools

Aurora West College Preparatory Academy, located just 15 minutes from where the mass shooting in 2012 that left 12 people dead and 70 injured, has a 3/10 rating on GreatSchools, citing low test scores (in some cases as low as 2% passing — far below state averages) and poor college readiness – proof, I think, that a fancy-sounding school name is not enough to get prepare youth for college. The school also boasts a 95% minority student population.

Educator accused of taking gun to school, threatening staff

GreatSchools – Aurora West College Preparatory Academy

Dean at Aurora West College Preparatory Academy arrested after lockdown

Aurora West Preparatory Academy – Official Website

Teen steals, then runs over accuser

thousandoakshs

A 16-year-old boy was arrested after he allegedly ran over a woman with his car after she accused him of stealing, leaving the victim in critical condition.

Some articles said she confronted him about stealing candy or “packaged food items,” while others assert it was money that was pilfered. Either way, the incident took place in Thousand Oaks High School in Thousand Oaks, California, during a basketball game last Friday evening. Lisa Solis, an activities assistant at the school, witnessed the teen stealing from a concession stand at the event, and confronted him about it when he fled outside to a Mercedes Benz sedan in the parking lot along with four of his friends. Solis stood in front of the car to prevent him from leaving when he decided it’d be a good to idea to not only use the car to knock her to the ground, but run over her as he left the scene. She was subsequently rushed to the hospital, and police quickly caught up with the unnamed teen, who was taken into custody on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon, and booked at Ventura County’s Juvenile Justice Center.

Solis remains in critical condition with extensive injuries, including bleeding on the brain, broken ribs and collar bone, punctures in both lungs, and a broken jaw. Her family has set up a GoFundMe page to help with medical bills.

Thousand Oaks High School is part of Conejo Valley Unified School District and serves approximately 2300 students in grades 9 through 12. Nestled in an affluent, primarily-white neighborhood where homes regularly sell for well over half a million dollars, the school boasts a 98% graduation rate, and above average performance on standardized tests, as well as an elevated SAT college readiness rate. A student reports via GreatSchools.org that minorities receive a great deal of bullying within the school. This is a perfect example of the school construct itself breeding criminal activity, and not merely culture or socioeconomic status. A spoiled rich kid deliberately ran over a school employee in his Mercedes, while his friends laughed in the back seat. This isn’t a blog about white privilege, but one cannot help but draw those parallels. Still, one only needs to look at prisons throughout the world, in every location, housing people from every walk of life, to see that crime begets crime, criminals come from anywhere, and concentrating them into as unnatural of circumstances as prisons (or schools) serves as a detriment to those there that aren’t a threat to society. They just get caught in the crossfire.

Teen arrested after hit-run leaves Thousand Oaks school employee in critical condition

Teen suspected of deliberately running over a Thousand Oaks High assistant is arrested

Teen intentionally ran over woman at Thousand Oaks High School, authorities say

California teen runs over woman with car after she confronts him about stealing at high school: officials

GreatSchools.Org – Thousand Oaks High School

Thousand Oaks, CA Real Estate – Realtor.com

Conejo Valley United School District – Thousand Oaks High School

#stayingstrongforlisa – GoFundMe Page for Lisa Solis

Teachers strike in Los Angeles, citing low pay

 

Los Angeles students are still coming to school today, but they’re being met with unfamiliar faces as substitute teachers step in to fill the gap left by 28,000 striking teachers, who are of course “doing it for the students.”

The dispute is over (what else?) a demanded 6.5% pay raise – teachers insist the district has the money to burn, and want the raise immediately (Friday they rejected an offer from the school district giving them a 6% raise over 2 years). They’re also wanting smaller class sizes and “fully staffed” schools, which include more nurses, librarians, and counselors. The district said meeting every demand would put them more than half a billion dollars in the red.

So in essence, teachers (or, rather, their union bosses, who of course “only have the interests of them and their children at heart) are wanting greater compensation (which means greater union dues) for less work.

Never mind that teaching degrees constitute some of the easiest-earned degrees in the nation, and education students collectively have the lowest SAT scores among matriculating freshmen. GPAs for education majors are nearly a full point higher than those studying math or science. Countless undergraduates joke that if they can’t cut in their challenging classes, they “could always just major in education.”

Don’t tell me teachers weren’t aware they may not receive astronomical salaries, when they were back in college. Don’t tell me they “did it for the children;” how many of us had teachers that “just didn’t care” and were literally counting the minutes until school let out for the day, or the year (or until retirement)? If they really had children’s interests in mind, would they be refusing to come into work, forcing their charges to spend the days on the streets, in front of the television, or in a classroom with a clueless substitute?

The average teacher salary in Los Angeles Unified School District is $75,000. This doesn’t take into account the 3 months’ vacation they get every year, or the excellent benefits package, including retirement benefits that put most other jobs to shame.

The school district serves approximately 640,000 students.

LA Teachers Go On Strike For First Time In 30 Years

CITY RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO FAMILIES DURING THE EVENT OF A STRIKE

Here’s The Nation’s Easiest College Major

Photos: Thousands of L.A. Teachers March on Strike

Maryland high school football players accused of raping teammates

DamascusHighSchool
photo courtesy Montgomery County Public Schools

Boys will be boys, they say. Somehow I don’t think that defense is going to work in the favor of four 15-year-old Maryland boys accused of sexual assault.

The four junior varsity athletes accused, namely Jean Claude “JC” Abedi, Kristian “KJ” Jamal Lee, Will Daniel Smith, and Caleb Thorpe, will be tried as adults; three are charged with two counts of first-degree rape and two counts of attempted rape, while the fourth is charged with four counts of first-degree rape. The incidents in question apparently took place within the freshman locker room of Damascus High School in Damascus, Maryland, on Halloween of this year. The students were apparently readying for football practice when someone turned off the lights, and the assaults took place. The students stopped when they were alerted of their coach’s approach.

They’re excuse? “It’s tradition.” Well, so’s jailtime for assaulting people.

Besides eyewitness testimony, the suspects also engaged in conversation about the incident on Snapchat. Because apparently the old adage about dumb jocks rings true.

Damascus High School was established in 1950 and is part of the Montgomery County Public School System. It serves approximately 1200 students within grades 9 through 12. It ranks in the top 5% of Maryland schools in overall test scores. Minority enrollment at Damascus High is 39%, which is nearly half that of Maryland’s average. Their website neglects to mention anything regarding the assaults on school property. Today’s announcements made sure to include volunteer opportunities, SAT prep information, and details about school performances. You know: the important stuff.

The accused students face up to life in prison if convicted.

Maryland high school football players accused of raping teammates with broom

High school football players face life in prison for raping teammates with broom

Damascus High School – Montgomery Schools MD

Damascus High School – Public School Review