In the wake of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, schools across the nation are stepping up precautions in the hopes they can avoid a similar tragedy. While the NRA argues that arming teachers would stop mass school shootings, schools across the nation are revisiting their policies on how to deal with on campus violence.

Recently, a San Francisco teen learned just how far a school would go to keep their students safe. After finding Courtni Webb’s poem about the Sandy Hook shootings in her notebook, a teacher was alarmed at the language and referred her to the office. Why? Webb seemed to sympathize with Connecticut shooter Adam Lanza.

In the poem, Webb wrote: “I understand the killings in Connecticut. I know why he pulled the trigger…Misery loves company. If I can’t be loved no one can.”

That one line got the teen suspended (and perhaps expelled) due to her school’s “zero tolerance” policy on violence, even though she didn’t threaten anyone or act out violently. A point Webb iterated during an interview with a local news affiliate.

“I didn’t say that I agree with it, I said I simply understand it,” Webb told NBC News. “I feel like I’ve really been made to almost look like a monster by my school and I don’t appreciate that at all.”

According to school officials, Webb was suspended because her poem “contained deeply concerning, and threatening language related to the recent school shootings in Newtown, Connecticut.”

So much for freedom of speech.

Webb, who doesn’t have a history of acting out violently, said her poem was about society’s dysfunction.

“Why are we oppressed by a dysfunctional community of haters and blamers. The meaning of the poem is talking about society and how I understand why things like that incident happened. So it’s not like I’m agreeing with it, but that’s how the school made it seem,” she said.

Instead of talking to Webb and finding out if she actually had any negative or harmful feelings toward her classmates or herself, her school had a knee-jerk reaction that did very little to make anyone, especially their students, safer.

Project Islamic HOPE, a Los Angeles-based civil rights group, has started a petition to support Webb.

Najee Ali, the group’s organizer, said: “This school is over reacting Webb doesn’t have a history of violence. She didn’t threaten anybody. She didn’t threaten herself. She simply said she understood why. That shouldn’t be a reason to suspend her from school. Our petition is calling for Webb to be reinstated at school and can be found at change.org.”

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28 Comments

  1. very tired

    This is exactly why kids go postal!! No one listens just re-acts!!!!! Im so sick of our society. We as adults just prove her poem right “a society of haters and blamers”. Where are the damn healers and changers!!!!! This childs views should have been assest before being kidded out of school. WE NEED TO START LISTENING to our youth, people!!! They are no longer trying to talk to us!!!! They are extremely screaming at us!!!!

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  2. I applaud the young lady for her intelligence and honesty as well as her very mature ability to see past the surface and show empathy. She shows wisdom beyond her age. This was a teachable moment that the school fumbled the ball on. Suspension was way to harsh a simple discussion would have sufficed.

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  3. Barbara

    Not to derail but damn WTF are they feeding kids today? This teenager looks like a grown women with 2 kids at home.

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    • Wow…what you just said says a lot about you…especially if that’s all you got from the story…smh

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    • Thanks for the thoughtful, derailing comment.

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    • MuffyCrosswire

      Hilarious! I thought the same thing. She looks about 40 years old!!

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  4. It’s unfortunate that she got suspended from an innocent comment, and I understand the quote from her poem and find it harmless. But just as she “understands” the murderer in CT, she has to also analyze why she was suspended and understand that too. The nation is now in a state of severe shock and paranoia and will take NO risks. School authorities don’t have time to figure out the intentions behind someone’s reference to the shooting; they have to react to all references and react immediately. I’m sure she’ll be permitted back to school and the whole thing will blow over. Hopefully it’ll be an example to others on just how sensitive the situation is though. I haven’t read the whole poem, but maybe if she would have provided some type of social context to it, explaining the negative results of people with unaddressed mental health and/or childhood trauma, etc, the consequence would have been less harsh. From the little quote provided, it could have been interpreted as a little too empathetic and sorrowful for the murderer as if he’s the victim. Even though he more than likely is a victim of something tragic, he’s still a murder–OF CHILDREN–and it makes our society uncomfortable to paint a murderer as a “victim”. Wish the best for her though!

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  5. I don’t know of one black woman doing this to a school…they need to watch the little white boys…not us…

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    • The Artist

      Exactly, they’re constantly making excuses. Had that boy been Black, he’d been incriminated a long time ago. Regardless of whether or not he had mental health issues.

      Ironically, this girl makes one outlandish statement and they are already incriminating her.

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    • Every few years when a tragedy like this happens there are comments like these saying these white boys should be profiled. On the other hand, every single day in every predominately black neighborhood you have black boys terrorizing the community with gang violence, murder, drugs, and rape and yet when the police profile those boys there’s a problem.

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