Jan. 4th, 2011

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There were two murders in my city last week.  Both murder victims had children who attend school with my kids; one of the children is in Casper's class.  I should note that while the city had a high poverty rate and a lot of public housing, it has a relatively low crime rate and not much in the way of gang or drug activity - and neither of these killings seem to be connected to those sorts of issues.

A single mother aged 25, with a 3rd grader, was stabbed to death at her job at a convenience store, alone and late at night.  The store was not robbed.  The daughter will probably be moving in with her grandmother; she lived alone with her mother in public housing.

A single father aged 30, with 3 children (but not residing with them; he lived with his mother) was shot to death while sitting in his driveway listening to the car radio, in a stable working-class neighborhood.  He worked for the city.  His daughter DaNaya is in Casper's class and he also had a daughter in PreK, but in the other classroom so I do not know her.

The school administration and the PTO are aware of this and doing what they can to be supportive of the families; the counselor will be coming to talk to the affected classes before the children come back to school.  It seems like a heavy burden for an elementary school class to bear.  And those poor little girls.

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