A child


A student shot and killed himself at my school yesterday.

He did it during lunch in the main courtyard where easily a hundred kids were in full view.

I arrived minutes after and watched him bleed out. I could not look away.

I did not know Adrian, but I do know that he was a father. He was also a child.

Teaching will never be the same. Today was what I hope will be one of the worst days of my professional life. Crying with each of my classes today was difficult and cleansing. I have more emotions than I could possibly process on the page. Anger, disbelief, grief, fear, worry, shock, sadness.

And a tiny glimmer of hope.

One of the sources of my anger right now is a misinformed and reckless local news story insinuating that bullying was a main contributor to Adrian's choice to take his life. This is not the case. Our school is amazingly accepting and the kids are a true melting pot of nationalities, lifestyles, and experiences. I am fortunate to work here and glad to walk with my students through this most difficult of days. They are fragile and they are strong. They are wise and they are innocent. They give me hope.


Melody said...

Oh, Amber, how awful, awful, awful. I can't imagine. It would be easy to give in to deep depression in all this; it's awe-inspiring that you're finding hope and goodness in your students and your school through it. Hugs.

Mr. J's Classroom BLOG said...

Amber, we were waiting outside of our classroom at Reagan at the end of the day when one of our students handed his cell phone over to a fellow TA and said, "What does this say? I can't read it." His phone message on his facebook page was Adrian's final message to his friends... and a shocking and very sad self-portrait." The TA read about half of it to the student, who had known Adrian in middle school... then the student didn't want to hear any more. We staffers passed the phone around... reading in disbelieving silence. I can only assume that probably half the high school kids in this city had that message on their cell phones by the end of the day. I have rarely felt such a complete feeling of helplessness. What could anyone have done? Will we ever have an answer to that? I didn't know Adrian, but I still felt terrible for his friends and his son and his mother. That degree of pain and loss must be almost unbearable. Del Jessen.

Jennifer Carr said...

Amber - when we got the e-mail from the district regarding this tragedy I didn't put two and two together that it was your school. I can't imagine what that was like and hope that somewhere, peace can be found for all involved.

Big, Giant, Love-filled, Hugs.

Pam said...

I am so sorry for what you had to see and for the pain this boy must have felt. I'm so grateful that you are the kind of teacher who will walk with her students through this and other very difficult days. You are making a difference in the world.

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