Reporter shares her shut connections to group beset by violence

I am going to always remember the primary time the Earth stood nonetheless.

A 15-year-old boy had died in an tried theft. He was killed for a brand new pair of sneakers he carried as he waited at a bus cease in Hillcrest Heights, MD. His homicide occurred across the nook from my home, only a 10-minute stroll from Southeast, D.C. I didn’t know who it was till I watched the information that evening. I noticed his image blown up on my vibrant TV display screen. The projecting gentle devoured the room however it could not devour the darkness and dread that I began to really feel.

The primary time I had met Charles we have been possibly 10 years outdated attending Francis Scott Key Elementary College. He was new to the college and hit it off with the opposite youngsters on his first day. He cracked jokes, loved gymnasium, and acquired alongside nicely with our academics. We weren’t shut mates, however I had seen him develop into a teen. It didn’t damage much less to know {that a} classmate was killed for one thing so minuscule.

Once I went to high school the following day, you’d assume that faculty was not in session in any respect. Suitland Excessive College was usually full of gossip, boisterous laughter, jokes, smiles, and even fights. That ceased to exist that day. As an alternative, the halls have been full of sorrow, anger, and confusion. Most of all, the scholars felt hopeless.

We had began that faculty yr off with an meeting of about 300 freshmen. I by no means forgot what an administrator mentioned to us initially of the occasion. He mentioned, “look to your left, look to your proper. A number of the folks filling these seats received’t be right here subsequent yr.”

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