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May 22nd, 2009
02:51 PM ET

Street Violence in Verse

From CNN Producer Emily Kean:

My son Tommy is 7 years old and in first grade. He and his classmates worked on a poetry project this year in which they wrote about their favorite foods. Tommy’s poem was an “Ode to PB and J.”

The kids in Heather O'Reilly’s fourth grade class in Rochester, New York, also worked on a poetry project this spring. But instead of favorite foods, they wrote about the daily violence that they see on the streets of their neighborhoods, the guns they hear in the night, and their own very real fears about the future.

Their words broke my heart. Maureen McGuire of CNN affiliate WROC visited the class.


Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Franky

    That is pretty unique and impressive, writing about violence in your daily day and they're young!! All I know when I was that young, you swear I'm gonna write about violence over here, LOL!! I was either writing how I feel or what I feel but violence, ohh no, never that. And to tell you the truth, I don't think I either wrote a poem about violence or hatred for matter but I have wrote journals. I don't know, never went that far and look at me now, I'll be busting out soliloquies for crying out loud, LOL!! And I think that's good, the fact that kids are learning how to express their emotions and feelings, it will definitely help them identify and understand themselves.

    And believe it or not, I was those types that loved to show what I had, I remember in 3rd grade, my handwriting was good, I mean, real good! And my teacher always, I mean always complimented me on my writing, she always showed love...but then again, when I was 7th grade, my math teacher all cared about was stock, LOL!! Ohh just wait, I haven't told you that one just yet...

    That is so clever, so articulate, they should be proud, good kids they are. They do in fact care...

    May 22, 2009 at 3:37 pm |
  2. mesha

    So many videos, so many sad cases, kids caught in the cross fire..and you know what it all add up to..nothing...Nothing is going to be done about the situation until the the African America/Black people who lives in these neighborhood start standing up. When we have 38% or 48% graduating rate for Black males in GA.. More of this going to continue and it will get worse..I bet you are wondering what one has to do with the others..The system is opening up jail/prison by the way of how many 3rd or 4th grader boys..

    If they dont die in the crossway, injury doing the fighting, dropout rates, unmarried father, dopehead, or maybe 1 or possible 4 out 10 able to afford college..1 may graduate. Sad cases aint it..

    Stop protraying or using these stories..ie Black in America...We all know these children may have hope to get out..go get the real true..How are the guns getting into the neighborhoods? What make a child or man pick up a gun and shoot his or her neighbor? Why our children are dropping out of school at large rate? Is it boredom, lack of ambitions? 1 out 4 girls have an STD. HIV is on the rise. 78% of mother have children out of wedlock. Some of our children perfer a new jail versus an old run down school. At least they are getting a roof over there head and warm place to lay down and 3 square meal a day.

    In my town, it is last day of school, how many children will not return?

    May 22, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  3. Jamie

    Those who live in safe places have no idea what it is like to sleep in a bathtub with your body shielding children on nights such as New Year's Eve when you know the bullets will be flying, or knowing that children must be kept indoors either at school or at home because "outside" is a war zone.

    May 22, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  4. el don Rodrigo

    This is in regard to the recent police brutality that has occurred in the last couple of days. You want to support this kind of attitude? When you get jacked by a bad cop don't come crying. You want to risk your rights. When it happens to you or your family members don't come crying & snibbling. You think that America loses it's Constitutional Rights just because a Fracked up cop thinks he's better then the Law. You are sadly mistaken. When your rights are stripped away from you just because a cop thinks you are a perpetrator then your screwed! And besides what is the intelligent level of some donut eating Jack. If they make the mistake in the pursuit of their so called job description than you end up losing. This idea that cops have the means to violate Constitutional Rights is completely nonsense. If it happens to you or your family don't come crying. This idea that you're being protected is just plain crap. Besides, they used to have the saying "we serve & protect.” The question is who are they serving and who are they protecting. The nonsense of an individual violating someones Constitutional & Humanitarian Rights just because they go through 6 months of training and stand behind a ... badge is that this individual needs to be shot in the a** and in the knees so they can't harm anyone else. If you as a person condones the cop behavior that has been apparently been in question than watch out. If it happens to you don't boo-hoo about your violated rights. Otherwise have a safe day.

    el don Rodrigo
    San Jose, CA

    May 22, 2009 at 8:56 pm |
  5. Ana Mejia

    FYI the National Security Agency and the White House have blocked my e-mail I cannot send or receive e-mails. Now that is change I cannot beleive in.

    May 23, 2009 at 12:31 am |
  6. Victor

    Gas Prices, give me and you, male of head.( OPEP) Organisation the countrys the exporting the petrol can to increase or drop, it's complicated. so, when the countrys demand more the gas, the china India example,gas prices,to increase. olso the recession not help.olso you can help, to emback with your friend, in her car, or in public transport.

    May 23, 2009 at 11:36 am |

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