Category Archives: juvenile hall

Why the second amendment offers me no protection

2ndopinion piece

by Nicole Funes

Just a year ago, a 16-year-old African American teen from Stockton lay on the ground, shot , just a few steps from my house. It took hours for an ambulance to come — shocking even for neighbors immune to the violence in West Oakland. Would this happen in Montclair or Rockridge?

More than 21 children have been shot and killed in Oakland since 2011, all of them in the poorer neighborhoods, according to the San Jose Mercury-News.

Just last week, riding on the bus, I witnessed a 16-year-old Oakland High student get into a fight with a girl, who wouldn’t refused to move backpack from the seat. “I get mad too fast. I got anger management problems,” he yelled at the girl, who refused to budge. “I’ll shoot everyone on the bus,” he said, clicking his gun.

By the next stop, I was off the bus. As were seven other passengers. “Smart move,” an older woman told me after I exited the bus.

But this is my reality. The threat of violence haunts me. Every bus ride feels like a risky adventure, during which I’m far more alert than during my school’s fire drill.

The dangers of gun use make me question the validity of the Second Amendment. How does it protect me to have guns of all sorts readily available in Oakland?

My peers are divided on the issue of gun control. “I feel good about guns, if they’re registered,” said Tyrone Spivey, a senior at McClymonds. “If someone comes into my house, even if my gun’s unregistered, “Pop, Pop.” It’s going down.”

“It ‘s too much black on black violence,” said Travon Godfrey, a 10th grader at McClymonds.  “Too many kids are finding it easy to get guns and taking {other}teens’ lives.”

Are you social or studious? Your favorite floor at Mack provides a clue

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photo by Anthony Beron

by Jacob Miles

Here’s the profile: talker, sagger, whistler, rapper, texts while he walks, dawdles in the hallway. Conclusion: definitely fits the personality of a 2nd floor guy.

She’s different: still half asleep, in need of caffeine or a pick-me-up, doesn’t want anyone to ask about her business, avoids confrontation, prefers not to flirt, doesn’t walk too quickly.  Probably prefers the 3rd floor.

Students at McClymonds often engage in a heated debate: about which floor is best:  “Which floor do you prefer?”

While most argue that the second floor is more convenient and social, others prefer the third floor because it is more quiet and also practical: it’s where most classes are scheduled.

So the  question is: which floor do more people prefer? I asked around to see what students and faculty think.

To some students the 2nd floor is more convenient  for a plethora of reasons.”The 2nd floor has the most teachers and we could be taught more and learn more than on the 3rd floor,”  said Luckie Lovette, a junior.

“I like walking down the 3rd floor hallways and seeing the art that goes on the lockers;  also it is more peaceful and quicker to get to class than on the 2nd floor.”  said Danny Cox,  another junior.

Besides the much desired stillness of the third floor,  students claim their allegiance to the top floor  because of the limited presence of security guards (SSOs), principal and vice principal who seem to enjoy roaming through the hallways of the second floor.  No SSOs , no way to get into trouble for any reason.

However, students who like to socialize with their friends prefer the second floor despite increased supervision.

“I’m willing to risk that and talk to my friends because they can’t really control us.” Andre Price, Junior, stated.

Gang Violence Rages Through the East, Affects Mack

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OPINION

by Jacob Miles

Somehow, violence in the East always spills over into West Oakland.

March was an awful month. In East Oakland, another life was claimed over so little: a dispute over the theft of $200 worth of marijuana  prompted two shootings at an East Oakland house Sunday morning that left one man dead, another wounded and a lengthy standoff with police before the suspected gunman was arrested.

In the following days, two teenagers, whose names were not released by Oakland Police, were  shot on separate occasions : one teen, near Fremont High, running to football practice, was shot randomly. The other victim was a 13-year old boy who was on his way to school, also shot by accident.

The violence wears us down. “I feel sad because I have a friend and when he was 13-years old he was shot and it still traumatized him to this day. Also it is scandalous how some one could shoot an innocent 13-year old boy,” said  Janaya Andrews, a freshman.

East Oakland lives up to its acquired nickname: “little Iraq.” Residents caught in the cross fire lose their lives to gang wars.  Mayor Jean Quan promises that the violence will start to decrease in Oakland but the death toll keeps mounting.

That violence touches us all. “I feel safe, sometimes, but when going from West Oakland to East Oakland I never know what is going to happen because something can pop-off at any time so I just wait to hear or see something.” Khristan Antoine, junior, explains.

 The borders between East and West, between more dangerous and less  dangerous, between “them”:and “us” seem fluid and ill-defined. “Students shouldn’t have to worry about their lives and worry about which parts of Oakland they should go and which ones shouldn’t be crossed,” said Franklin Hysten, senior director of community programs for Alternatives In Action at McClymonds.

Some students are taking steps to counter the wave of violence in Oakland.

“Our action to this rise in crime in our city will start with our Chicago Peace Pledges, followed by our Peace Talk on May 15, and our Peace fest on June 8. We will release more information on those actions later,” said Kharyshi Wiginton, youth leadership coordinator of Youth Organizing & Leadership Opportunities.

West Oakland has had its share of recent shootings, but the most controversial took place downtown: an Oakland police officer shot McClymonds freshman, Frenswa Raynor, 16,  innocent, and unarmed, mistaken for a suspect in an earlier robbery at Le Cheval restaurant.

“Hopefully, we can get answers to why these murders and shootings keep occurring and what we can do to prevent them from happening to our students,” said Harold Pearson, executive director of Student  Program for   Academic and Athletic Transitioning.

First Friday fatality: will it discourage Mack students?

Arrested

 

photo copyright by Oakland North

by Anthony Beron

As Mack freshman  Desiree Gamble  embarked on an exciting stroll and party night at First Friday, trotting off the AC Transit bus near Telegraph, it seemed to be a normal, festive night. The music was loud and the street vendors, out en masse, were selling a variety of hats, T-shirts and CDs.

But within minutes, the seemingly smooth and charismatic night went haywire. A confrontation on Telegraph and 20th led to the fatal shooting of Oakland high school student Kiante Campbell, 18. Three people were left wounded and many, including students at McClymonds, were emotionally distraught.

“After I had got off the bus, I heard the sound of gun shots coming from Art Murmur; then I went home right afterwards,” Gamble said. Others ran, too.

As a result of the shooting and bad publicity for the event and for Oakland, the city is planning to reign in the festivities  on March 1, the next First Friday. Neon green shirts with “Respect My City”  will be sold and given away to teens who sign a peace pledge, in an anti-violence campaign.

Will McClymonds students flock to First Friday after the violence? “I’m definitely going again,” said sophomore William Gray, who was at 17th and Broadway leaving Youth Radio before the shooting.

“We go to talk to girls,” he said, describing the scene as friendly, where East Oakland teens can meet West Oakland teens in what is usually a ‘neutral’ environment.

“Downtown is usually a neutral area because nobody owns it,” he said, “except the Oakland police.”

On March 1, the focus will be on art and healing, with a moment of silence in memory of Campbell. Fewer city blocks will be closed to traffic and there will be more security and no public drinking allowed, Sean Maher, mayor Jean Quan’s communications manager told reporters after a meeting. “It’s going to be a smaller and more low key event.” The event usually attracts about 10,000 to 15,000 people and has been a boon to Oakland’s economy.

The idea of adding police for an event like First Friday has angered some community leaders, who criticized the idea of taking police away from neighborhoods, where people also need protection and security. 

A memorial service was held for Campbell on Febuary 7.  Donald Parks, 19, was charged with six counts of assault with a semi-automatic firearm and one count each of carrying a concealed weapon and carrying a loaded firearm.

Tougher Gun Laws Now: Stop the Violence

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by Sana Saeed

About a week or two ago, my mom had a close friend whose only child died. She was so depressed and her child was only 18 years old. He was going home after a party when he got shot near his own house. His mother said that he was a good boy and innocent.

Guns were once meant to protect  but now all they do is take away innocent lives.  The Newtown Massacre, Taft High School Shooting, Colorado Theater Massacre,  the list goes on…

Violent and often mentally unstable people, aided by weapons obtained legally or illegally, kill others over a stare, religion, physical appearance, or for no reason whatsoever. Instead of getting into fist fights, they have upgraded to gun fights or shoot outs. During gun wars, innocent people can simply be on the streets, walking: Hiram Lawrence would vouch  for that.

Everyone should care about enacting tougher gun control laws. Why? Because you never know who might get killed next. It could be you or someone you love. Gun control is never an issue until someone you know gets killed.

When a tragedy hits home, in a small, “safe” community in Connecticut, everyone starts talking about working together to make a positive, loving, safe community for all of us. Even the president.

As the days and years go by, these massacres are taking more and more lives and leaving behind scars that may never heal.   As a 15-year-old, I have witnessed many deaths and shoot outs over stupid reasons. That is why I care so much that a person only acquire a gun legally, with a license and through tough licensing procedures.

Most of the authors of the mass shootings and massacres are mentally unstable (Newtown) or  gang rivals (Oakland, or so says the police chief).  It shouldn’t matter if 20 kids die in one day or if one single  kid is murdered in front of his house.  Lives are lost and will never be returned.

Or maybe the problem is that obtaining a gun permit is too easy.  In fact, most of the mass shootings in 2012 were made by legally obtained ammunition and weapons, some including high caliber rifles.

On December 14, mentally ill Adam Lanza drove to school in Newtown, Connecticut, and shot and killed  20 children ( 12 girls and 8 boys between the ages of 6 and 7) plus six adults, his mother and himself.

The mentally ill shouldn’t roam the streets: they need constant medical attention  and should not be free to practice shooting at a rifle range, to buy weapons and to target their victims. Put them on a short leash, please.

Don’t let just anyone take advantage of the second amendment (the right to bear arms). It’s just another excuse to own a gun and to kill.

Why We Should Care about Alan Blueford

Copyright Photograph by Sarah Rice, Special To The Chronicle / SF

by Tamesha Figures

When an 18-year-old honor student is shot by Oakland police, we should care. And students and teachers at McClymonds identify with Alan Blueford because he was Black, bright, and died tragically like Trayvon Martin.

He was shot  May 6,  at 92nd Avenue and Birch Street in East Oakland after fleeing a stop by two Oakland police officers, just weeks before his graduation. There are still questions about the circumstances surrounding the shooting,  Blueford family attorney John Burris told the San Francisco Chronicle.

Sana Saeed, 14, and a senior said Blueford’s case was “another Trayvon Martin.”  According to Saeed, the fatal incident will produce more anger and distrust towards the police from the community, afraid that “they might shoot one of their loved ones.” There seems to be a rise in abusive power, she added.

Mau’Rae Williams, 15, a sophomore agrees.  “There is no trust in the police.  It’s even more a reason not to trust them,” Williams said.  “Riots would be started because people are being denied their first amendment right to protest.”

Williams was referring to the recent decision by the Oakland City Council to limit the number of  people attending council meetings, aimed at  stifling community protest about Blueford’s case. On Tuesday 100 people were locked out, according to the Chronicle. Police officers barred the doors as protesters inside and outside the meeting room erupted.

At Mack for A Month: Life in a Group Home

 

by Marius Perry

Oakland is 80 miles from my home — Sacramento. It also feels like it’s a million miles away from my baby Momma’s son, whom I haven’t held in my arms for two months.

I landed at McClymonds because I was sent away from Sacramento — they do that because they want to take you away from your friends, with whom you’ve gotten into trouble. But that means leaving everything behind.

For me, growing up in the streets of Sac-town meant getting in trouble , starting fights , getting arrested also for robbery. I was in and out of Juvenile Hall and got out on probation  only to sell drugs.

My lady babymomma has my adopted 3-month-old son MARIUS PERRY Jr. in Sacramento. I haven’t held my kid in 2months: I miss her and my mom back at home, who struggles to pay the rent . My dad was locked up most of my life. My mom was never really there for me , but she tried her best as a mother .  Growing up was hard because I never got the chance to live my life like a kid.

My life now in a group home is hard: I share a room with one of the other kids . I live with 6 people and I get along with them most of the time. We have to clean much more than I ever have. We wake up too early in the morning for school . The hardest part is having to deal with the consequences of my actions .