Letters to the Editor

On school violence, ask different questions

“I read The Gazette article (“C.R. Washington High moves to address ‘chronic’ violent incidents,” March 8), do your kids feel safe at school?” my mother asked me. She was the second person to ask. My answer was a resounding yes. My kids said, “Yes!”

People hear about fighting in the schools or a gun in a backpack and they start whispering in fear.

The high school my kids attend is the one I attended. It has a diverse population — wealthy families of privilege and socioeconomically challenged families of perseverance. It’s a great public school where kids from all backgrounds can interact with fabulous teachers and staff, earn up to a year of college credit and participate in outstanding fine arts and sports.

Ask questions. But don’t ask questions about “that school,” but “your city.” What is happening in your city that makes a teenager feel scared enough to come to school with a weapon hidden away, presumably for the walk home to one of our neighborhoods? What volunteer projects have you supported lately that help young people handle anger or build confidence outside their street reputation?

Running away to a school where the kids are all privileged is not a solution. Your kids will face this world and are part of the solution. I love that my kids are proud of their school, appreciate its diversity and don’t feel afraid of people who are, themselves, expressing their own fear through their actions.

Don’t fear, work on our community and join our school!

Karen Torno Fashimpaur

Cedar Rapids

Editor’s note: Following a conversation with the author, this letter was updated on March 31 to clarify that the author and her children feel safe at school.

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We value your trust and work hard to provide fair, accurate coverage. If you have found an error or omission in our reporting, tell us here.

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