Castlemont High: One School’s Struggle With Daily Violence

Dec. 13, 2013 / By




Tomorrow marks the first anniversary of the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. The 26 lives lost that single day sparked a national debate on gun violence. A year later, the issue still looms large in many communities, including those where shootings are a daily occurrence.

Castlemont High, in East Oakland, looks like many other California schools — colorful box-style buildings with big windows — but inside, teacher Demetria Huntsman and several students are deconstructing a shooting that happened out front just 30 minutes before I got there.

“I wanted to find out from you guys, what was this lockdown that happened today?” Huntsman asks. A chorus of teens reply, their voices overlapping in the small classroom. It was gun shots, they say.

One student, 16-year-old Joseph Hopkins, had been close to the action.  He was walking with a friend outside the school when a driver in a car started shooting.  “We just like heard gun shots, so she just dropped her stuff and we just both turned around and started running,” he said. “That’s the closest I’ve ever came (sic) to almost like actually getting shot.”

Read more and listen to the report featured on NPR at Youth Radio

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