Thanksgiving can't come soon enough
Yesterday was another violent day in city schools. At Forest Park High, five students were arrested and charged with attacking two teachers. One of the teachers had reported to police that he was robbed (unarmed) on Monday by two other students, who were subsequently arrested, and the attack was retaliation. Another teacher came to his colleague's aid during the attack, and he bore the brunt of the assault. The school was on lockdown for hours.
At Maritime Industries Academy, fivel girls were involved in a fight. And at Patterson High, everyone had to stand outside for more than an hour after someone set a fire in a bathroom that sent smoke through a wing of the building.
What's going on here?
Until last week, the city schools were experiencing a relatively uneventful year on the violence front (not to say there haven't been fights and trash can fires). That changed Friday with the fatal stabbing of Markel Williams outside Lemmel Middle School. I can't help but wonder if all the publcity the murder is receiving has prompted other kids to act out. On top of that, it seems pretty common for schools to go a little haywire before a vacation.
Speaking of which, I got the charging documents in the Matthew Henson teacher assault case from Friday. The mother, 29-year-old Lakia Farmer, allegedly went into a classroom and started attacking a teacher -- who had a conflict with her son -- in front of about 20 kids. The teacher reports that Farmer hit her above her left eye with an unknown object, possibly a cell phone. In addition to a bruised, swollen eye, she also got a busted lip and hurt her knee when she fell. The assistant principal and another teacher had to physically restrain Farmer, who had the victim on the floor by the hair. The report says the children "were distraught after seeing their teacher attacked." You think? Farmer was charged with second-degree assault and possession of a deadly weapon with intent to injure.