Dear Dr. D
I just read an article on al.com (http://blog.al.com/breaking/2010/02/post_205.html): which included the following disturbing statement:
Deatrice Johnson's daughter attended Monrovia with Brown before he transferred to Discovery. [emphasis added]
Much has been made of the fact that the shooter transferred from one Madison city school to another. Apparently Todd Brown also transferred to Discovery MS from another school. Not just another school - OUR school, the school my kids will attend soon. Monrovia.
This is NOT good news.
Did Brown's family move into Madison from the county, or was Todd Brown removed from the county schools for some other reason? Did his transfer have anything to do with Discovery having separate academy for disciplinary problems? Since the Browns apparently live in an apartment in Madison, I don't believe their move had anything to do with finding a bigger or nicer place to live. Do we have a problem at Monrovia that Brown's family was trying to get Todd away from?
I'm well aware that kids think this gang crap is totally cool. When I was a kid, the Pagans Motorcycle Club (i.e. gang) moved into our apartment complex and I thought that was totally cool. My dad did not. I sneaked my dad's old leather motorcycle jacket from my grandparents' attic and wore it around so I'd look like a Pagan. Dad was not amused that his son was running around looking like a "hood." But, they didn't really have 9 year-old bikers back then. There was virtually no chance that the Hells Angels were going to gun me down by mistake. My dad took the jacket and hid it anyway. Sadly, the minimum age of gang-bangers has dropped. As we all know.
I have made it very clear to J and J that I do not find this new "gangsta" stuff cool at all. I have told them that just throwing gang signs can get them killed if the wrong person sees them and mistakes their ignorance as a threat from a rival gang.
Ironically, I believe the 3d Graders just finished up their G.I.V.E. poster projects last week, before the shooting. Other than that, my kids haven't said a thing about gang stuff at Monrovia ES. I hope we are watching for signs and have the will to stop any suspected gang activity in its tracks.
Will the county school system be addressing this issue in the near future now that we have a direct connection to one of the players?
J and J's dad