Today on CNN Newsroom

The latest news and information from around the world. Also connect with CNN through social media. We want to hear from you.
October 30th, 2009
11:08 AM ET

Coach Carter on Richmond H.S. Rape

Maybe you saw the movie, or caught his story on CNN back in the day.

In the late 90s, Coach Ken Carter put Richmond High School on the national map; well, the Bay Area school's back in the headlines this week. No feel-good story this time - but the callous gang-rape of a 15-year-old girl.

The educator/activist joined Kyra to talk about what's going on at his old school. Also part of the conversation: Gina Saechao, Richmond's senior class president.



Filed under: Clips from CNN Newsroom • Kyra Phillips • On TV
soundoff (15 Responses)
  1. michael armstrong sr. TX.

    Something needs to be done and it needs to be done quickly our American youth are out of control with reality and are totally without passion for each other Coach Carter needs more then just one school.

    October 30, 2009 at 11:17 am |
  2. dennis linville

    Where i am sure coach carter's heart is in the right place, This is a problem all over the country.Everyone knows the problem is drugs and gangs . Good children are being abused every day and children on the fence are being lost all because our government isnt addressing the issues and the sad thing is our youth know we are abandoning them.
    whatever it takes,remove the drugs and gangs and show our youth we are here for them and do it now! Or we could follow gov schwazenegger,leagalize dope and think about it some more. hey how about another movie of the week?

    October 30, 2009 at 11:59 am |
  3. Robert Lake,MI

    The outrage should be now the fact that a white girl was gang raped by at least 10 Latinos! Why the hypocracy with the hate crime bill that Pres. Obama just signed only applying to minorities. In this case the girl was the minority and was brutally raped by Latinos? It saddens me to think that laws on the books that supposed to protect all races failed to do what it is designed to do, like as if because this girl was white she doesnt get tthe same protection as others do!

    October 30, 2009 at 1:14 pm |
  4. Zada Shindelar

    WHY doesn't anyone want to call police? As a 58 yr old white woman with a college education, I can tell you it is intimidating to call 911. The Law Enforcement community has gone from helpful to accusitory over the past several decades! AND, I'm in a small town atmosphere. Larger cities/urban areas seem to have LESS soul & caring for callers. It is NOT merely the dispatchers that are rude, demanding, unskilled & uncaring, but most of the officers also....even in matters of NON-criminal conduct officers are NOT if to crack a joke or laugh at humor is somehow NOT manly or official. I HAVE a University degree in Criminal where did I learn to appear 'above & aloof' to the public. Todays Law Enforcement acts like jackbooted thugs rather than public servants....young folks can't look up to authoritarian tyrants!

    October 30, 2009 at 2:13 pm |
  5. Victoria S. Abernathy

    Coach Carter is strictly teriffic. If only more people shared his insight and wisdom!

    October 30, 2009 at 2:25 pm |
  6. Larry Adams

    Hey Kyra, maybe if adults would stop being so, greedy, selfish, cruel, inconsiderate, lying, blood thirsty, destructive careless beings, then "OUR" kids would be better human beings," ya think" did anyone get what the coach was saying, were the problem not the kids!!!

    October 30, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  7. Jah Wayne, Jamaica, WI

    Coach Carter has his issues to face...KYRA you hit the nail right on the head this the previous commenter said calling 911 is a joke these days.....i look forward to a follow up on this issue in particular....something really needs to be done i surely do agree with that one. The sooner the better so that things like this do not happen again..

    October 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  8. Andrea

    Regarding the 'Getting paid not to get pregnant' story (sorry, I missed your email address): This is essentially a scholarship program. As a school counselor, I know that scholarship sponsors can attach just about any criteria they want to the money. Some emphasize grades, some emphasize community service. This one emphasizes staying in school, participating in this program, and enrolling in college. I don't think that's a bad thing. The real issue is funding it with taxpayer dollars...Seems better to have it funded through non-profits on the one hand, but at the same time, I do agree that it's cheaper than having a teenager get pregnant and sign up for welfare.

    Regarding Coach Carter: I'm so glad he's going back to try and help out at that school. As far as the whole 'don't be a snitch' code of 'honor' thing goes: Since when is it 'honorable' to protect someone who does something so ugly, devastating, and altogether DIShonorable? I think Coach Carter's emphasis on words is right...and we clearly need to teach these kids what 'honor' really means.

    October 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm |
  9. Tim Gibb

    I couldn't find the story I just saw on 'Paid not to get pregnant' and of course there was some conservative talking about personal responsibility. How about our government's responsibility to provide opportunities to teenagers in underdeveloped communities? Its easy to preach personal responsibility when you have economic resources and two parents that provide for you and when you don't have to worry about getting shot going to or returning from school. As always there's some conservative republican whose probably never stepped foot in the ghetto who wants people to follow along and not complain while they continue to boost corporate funding and their own personal wealth. This program isn't 'paying' anyone. It provides incentive to learn and empower oneself and provides a college fund on the other end of it. And knowing how republicans feel about wellfare they should appreciate programs because those babies will most likely end up on welfare and the RNP will be complaining about spending money on that

    October 30, 2009 at 2:54 pm |
  10. Ann Letson

    Hi Kyra,
    Breaking a cycle of anything is the most important part, so long as the methods used are reasonable. Years ago, my son was in a habit of throwing things in anger at his older brother. Sometimes he caused considerable pain and as he got older, the things he threw were bigger and more potentially physically damaging. Warnings, threats – nothing helped and I was concerned his angry habit would continue to grow with him. By this time, he had fallen in love with computer-anything – at the time mostly computer-generated games. He went from Nintendo into MacDraw, learning how to type by the time he was five. One Easter I told both sons we were starting a game of our own. I drew a massive one-month calendar leading up to Easter and wrote "Tim is so good!" at the top. If Tim went through a day without throwing something at his brother, he received a computer sticker for that day, but his brother had to agree. He was allowed three "oops" for the month. If successful, at the end of the month, both boys were to receive $150 cash each. It was a lot of money for a six and eight-year-old but it worked! My youngest stopped – and therefore, broke – his habit and my eldest stopped whatever he may have done to spark these incidents off. More importantly, I watched as my sons learned how to work together, how to forgive and trust one another, and, of course, play together. Even to this day and they are now 28 and 30!

    October 30, 2009 at 3:05 pm |
  11. David Cary

    Boy I am so tired of this. I live 10 minutes from Richmond in another struggling community (our city went bankrupt and the school district was taken over by the state). This craziness has got to end.

    I love Steve Perry and Coach Carter, both doing great things for our kids, but what we really need are SYSTEMIC SOLUTIONS that can be replicated across the country, AFFORDABLY. Solutions that face reality and tackle today's problems head on.

    I find the subtitle of Steve's book (No one's coming to help) ironic. Really the truth is the people in the system don't want the help. I've reached out to the mayor of Richmond, the 100 Black Men of the Bay Area, the Superintendent of Richmond Schools, the high profile local pastor, their nationally known congressman, Arne Duncan, and even CNN with a systemic solution to these educational, social, economic and familial problems. None of you will even make the time to meet.

    CNN, you've got my email, ask Coach Carter (who knows me) if I'm on the right track and if I should be taking seriously. The question is do you want solutions or more high drama stories?

    October 31, 2009 at 1:35 pm |
  12. mac mccallister

    dear fredricka,
    regarding the sad, angering violation of a 15 year old victim must be stopped and stopped now. the arrogant,sarcastic unmoral attitude of a high percentage of youth across this nation is no other than the fault of adults.. this uppity,hiphop gang.thug no respect that these kids inherit from sources handed to them simply so a dollar can change hands is pathetic..even neighborhoods that share real estate with these spineless so called tough guys, have ran into,barred their windows ,and locked their homes, letting these punks run their lives...america must stand up...beat these unwanted smart ellecks at the game they think they cant lose...their video game hero"s such as "GRAND THEFT AUTO" fortunately has a reset button...REALITY doesnt....liberal activist over and over want to run in and cuddle these disrespectful grunts and hug their problems away ...why do you think these kids LAUGH histerically at your youth programs...throwing money at the problem (just like chicago recently)WILL DO sorry, but the rough child hood card, the race card,the poor me card needs to be tossed...GET OVER IT ALREADY AMERICA OWES THEM eliminate them by their choice...these youth/adults will kill,rape and do whatever they want
    simply go to youtube and type in gang...its a joke...their message is ...they CANT and WONT BE STOPPED...sadly their correct as long as people are cowards,will not even help officials after witnessing a crime, and stand by and watch kids die with no remorse...i am a concealed weapons citizens...this would never happen tp YOUR child in my presence...the police cant cover us all..people have stopped caring about the human race period....until that changes... you can understand why any attack by government to abolish my 2nd ammendments rights would inspire an assembled force to convince them a certain otherwise....guns certainly dont kill people. husbands and wifes whom come home early do....

    October 31, 2009 at 4:22 pm |
  13. Bartholomew

    It has been said that this was gang related in some way. That is why some of the bystanders were scared. I wonder if this was a gang initiation. Their is such a thing as being sexed in. It refers to being jumped into a gang, by sleeping with several members in this kind of setting. Is this what was happening?

    October 31, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  14. Bill Estes

    this is a tragic story...disheartening in fact...sure some of the fault falls at the step of the security personnel..sure some of the fault lies with the district for poor lighting...but really, in my eyes, this problem rests at the feet of the parents...of the adults who knew these kids...
    You can spend tons of money on security and fences and other types of barricades but the problem is a disconnect between responsible adults and the teenagers...somehow these young people missed doing the right thing...somehow the adults missed imparting doing the right thing...the moral compass..
    Look around your own enviroment and do the right little right thing whenever you is a daunting task but ....

    October 31, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  15. Alonzo Delley

    I actually spent 3 months of my freshman year at Richmond High School. It’s a school that is situated in an immigrant-low income area. In 1993 there were security guards and police which were completely apathetic (most we more interested in flirting and joking with the young girls than doing real work). You were given grades based on just attending! Fights broke out EVERY lunch period; it was more like a meal hall at a prison where you would fear for your life. Well to make a long story short I had been chatting with a new acquaintance during P.E. (because it was more like elementary recess) and some of the gang affiliated guys noticed that my buddy was feminine in nature and I stood to defend him. The very next day I was gang jumped by seven guys while scary security stood and watched from a distance. I walked myself to the principle office and was offered a transfer which was delayed and I had to take freshman history over again at my new school. To give my hometown some credit.. Richmond High School was a beautiful place during the time period my mom went there, it was larger and the teachers actually cared, this was all before crack hit this area extremely hard. Richmond has always been an area with two social groups “The Haves” which live in the Arlington Hills and by the Alverado State Park and “The Have Nots” those who lived by the Grocery Outlet, Kaiser Richmond and Casino San Pablo. Needless to say Richmond High School was split up into two schools in the 1970‘s… One private (Salesian High) and one for the impoverished and students of drug addicted parents which was Richmond High. This is the epitome of social juxtapositions at its finest. We as a country must start to care about all schools. Success in life should no longer be determined by your economic back ground but by your quotient to learn, and this thirst for knowledge if not stimulated at home has to be nurtured in an infantile state by educators who are real teachers with passion and a desire to do their jobs. I believe that these ethnic groups thrown into these ridiculous educational systems lack the understanding of who they are and where they came from and what they could accomplished. YES the history of MLK, Cesar Chavez and Malcolm X are great story as well as the feats for freedom and liberty. But I stand here to state that if the true full history of the United States were told these kids with nothing could have something to hold their head up about. Like the Moore and Spanish collaborations in the Americas and how some Africans were freemen and always were free men including successful land owners/entrepreneurs some of which owned property the size of an entire town like my Grandmothers Grandparents. A lot of blacks still have land in the south and don’t know why. It is guaranteed that EVERY early American are mixed with both slave and free men but at different degrees which causes our ill separation. It’s ignorance that is destroying this country and the need to isolate a whole group of our “American Blood” don’t you all think it is now time for the veils to be lifted so that this country may raise?.. People without proper education have been lulled into believing they are valued less therefore expect nothing but the minimum and glorify wearing a name brand as a marker of proper accomplishment. It’s time for America to WAKE UP and open the dusty books of our history both good & bad and reach out our hands, voices, and our votes for change for EVERYONE in America ! Its over due.

    November 1, 2009 at 4:06 pm |