The number of teenagers shot near Baltimore high schools has increased dramatically since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, Liz Bowie and Shreya Vuttaluru report for the Baltimore Banner. Last month, eight students were shot, two of which died, just outside of their high school, bringing the total to 11 this school year, according to the Banner’s data analysis. In the seven school years prior, only two teenagers were shot within three blocks of a high school.
How is this affecting students?
For some students, the rise in violence outside their schools has forced them to make difficult decisions for their safety. Nadia Brooks, an 18-year-old senior at Edmondson-Westside High School, only lives four blocks away from her school, but each morning, she said she has to decide whether to run across four lanes of traffic without a crosswalk or walk past the Edmondson Village Shopping Center where five students were recently shot.
“I don’t think that either way is safe,” Brooks said.
Despite the violence in surrounding neighborhoods, many Baltimore City high school students said they felt safe inside the walls of their school.
“I’m not saying that the school is the best five star … best ever,” said 16-year-old Edmondson-Westside High student, Angelo Duke. “But the staff tries to make it as good as they can. Like the principal, Mr. Perry, he will make sure that no matter what happens, we’re OK. Even if we’re good, he’ll check on us because you never know truly what somebody has gone through.”
Anything else I should know?
Shootings within a block of high schools were abnormal until the recent spike with most shootings concentrated in 2022 and in the first weeks of 2023. The majority of these, about 94%, occurred in the Black Butterfly, a series of neighborhoods in the city with historic underinvestment.
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