That child was 15 years old and a student of our community.
That child was my student.
I was home last Sunday when I received the news from a coworker. The one, single emotion I felt when I received the call and for the rest of that day was surprise--that is, surprise at my numbness.
And then I went to school. I saw my coworkers--my co-teachers, his other teachers. We gathered in the classroom for our morning meeting. Something inside of me broke. Reality hit me like a truck. I couldn't stop crying. I couldn't help but look to my coworkers for an appropriate way to react to this situation. I found comfort in seeing no one holding back and nearly everyone crying. I didn't need anyone to "be strong" for me in that moment; their tears gave me permission to let go, too.
I can't choose one thing that hurts most:
seeing his picture on the altar/memorial students and staff had set up
watching his closest friends, boys, girls, and young men alike break down, holding each other through sobs
seeing his two sisters, also students at our school, his little brother, and his father
the injustice of a life with so much potential extinguished in the blink of an eye
wanting to be a voice of comfort or of reason to students when they search for answers in death, violence, and murder--but having none
fear for my other students' lives
sadness for students' fear, either newfound or renewed, of walking their own streets
the lack of uproar in the community at large; the normalcy of a fatal drive by shooting in Oakland
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You will be missed, Sergio. I'm thankful to have known you. I will do my best to take care of your sisters and brother.
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Please consider helping Sergio's family by donating. Anything helps and is deeply appreciated. http://www.gofundme.com/xf2hxqmc