Fairhill: Code Blue!

May 12, 2010

Julia de Burgos View

View From the Julia de Burgos School

Going to school in an impoverished neighborhood such as Fairhill raises more concern for the students than just your typical academic inequalities. Teacher Erin Kelly at the Julia de Burgos Bilingual Elementary School recounts numerous occasions where “Code Blue” has been called during school hours. She explains that “Code Blue” refers to when “we have heard gun shots!”

“This has happened several time since I’ve worked here where we have had a ‘Code Blue,'” she elaborates, “and the kids are taught when there is ‘Code Blue,’ it comes on the announcements. We need to shut all of the doors. No one can be in the hallways. The doors are closed, the lights are off. The kids have to be down on the floor in the corner, as far away from the doors and windows as possible.” She says there have even been instances where she has seen people running in the streets below with guns in their hands.

Even outside of these in school instances, Kelly says there is a tremendous amount of violence in the neighborhood. “It’s amazing to me to hear what these kids have witnessed,” she says. She is thankful, however, for some of the strides the

Fairhill Street View

Street View From Julia de Burgos

new Imagine 2014 program has already begun to take by implanting more counselors in the school for the children to utilize.

Children in this school district have enough issues to face these days simply in terms of the rigorous academic plans being implemented that adding violence to the mix only places them at an even further disadvantage.

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