Rosemary Anderson High School

Portland’s Rosemary Anderson High School, which suffered a school shooting today, is in my former school’s alternative education network—on the same street, in fact. I worked many times with their staff. The highlight was working a full day there as part of our Instructional Rounds program. I was impressed with not only the caring, competent, energetic staff, but the way they formed positive relationships with their students, most of whom come from challenging circumstances. And by the way: I remember the kids that day as being great.

I know next to nothing about what happened today. But I would like to point out that it’s rather remarkable this happened at Rosemary Anderson at all. It’s not schools with “gang affiliated” students where the shootings are happening. Go check the list of multi-fatality school shootings. They happen in more affluent areas—Columbine, Thurston, Newtown. That’s what makes this shooting so puzzling to me.

And while we’re on the topic, why is it that white, suburban schools experience big shootings comparatively often, and in inner city schools it’s so rare? I’d like to think it’s a fundamental decency among urban poor people—tight knit and family oriented, despite the challenges we put on them. But your guess is as good as mine.

Either way, I’m sick of the goddamned guns.

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