One year. One city. Endless opportunities.

Violence Already Marring Detroit School Year

Guess I don't have a whole lot to say about yesterday's shooting near Detroit Mumford High School, except it was a horrific coda to a rough start to the school year in the Detroit Public Schools.

But I do wonder: How many more students are going to get shot before DPS administrators and the Detroit Police Department do more to ensure safe passage for these children? In the past few years, there has been a young man — Christopher Walker — killed outside Henry Ford High, children the shot at the bus stop near Cody and students hit by gunfire not far from Southeastern, Denby and Pershing. (More on See pictures of crime in Middle America)

And these are just the shootings. Who knows how many additional stabbings, assaults and robberies there've been as our kids have made their ways home?

I think Robert Bobb did a disservice by not paying more attention to early warnings from community leaders about the dangers of lumping so many children from rival neighborhoods into the same schools (though, to his credit, he seemed to have gotten the message when he decided against closing Kettering High and sending its students to rival neighborhoods around King and Southeastern). And I wonder how much the problems are eased by the presence of a new security company, Securitas, whose officers had only about a week of training before taking on the problems in Detroit high schools. (More on Read "Can Robert Bobb Fix Detroit's Public Schools?")

But with the school year off to such a tragic start, it's clear that more needs to be done to tamp down on the neighborhood conflicts that find their way into our schools. Perhaps this means a larger police presence in the backstreets after the final bell. Maybe this means stepped-up community policing on our blocks (not to be confused, of course, with indiscriminate Gang Squad strikes against entire neighborhoods).

Yeah, it's embarrassing when our administrators can't get Detroit schoolchildren to class on time on the first day. But we'll live. I don't think it's asking too much to be able to say the same thing for our children when they're on their way back home after the final bell.

See more from TIME's yearlong look at Detroit

  • Print
  • Comment

Add Your Comment:

You must be logged in to post a comment.
The Detroit Blog Daily E-mail

Get e-mail updates from TIME's The Detroit Blog in your inbox and never miss a day.

More News from Our Partners

Quotes of the Day »

NICHOLAS FISHER, expert at Stony Brook University in New York who took part in a study which found that bluefin tuna contaminated with radiation believed to be from Fukushima Daiichi were present off the coast of California just five months after the nuclear meltdown.