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Stabbings in Murrysville

Murrysville is about a 15 minute drive from my house.  It’s the scene of a stabbing rampage in a high school today.  Pretty terrifying.  (We don’t live in Murrysville’s district.) When Brook started school here last fall, it was at a brand new, beautiful suburban high school – with metal detectors, hand searches and wandings at each entrance.  Imagine having to pass through airport security every morning.  Yeah, not fun.

But it is pretty safe, no doubt about it.

It’s interesting that the suburb where I chose to live in Pittsburgh has a reputation for having a bad school district.  I haven’t found this to be true. The guidance department is superb, compared with the mean and nasty guidance department I dealt with in NJ.  The crime rate in my district is actually lower than in the city of Pittsburgh.  I checked before I bought the house here.  The problem is that the worst section of the city is adjacent to my district and the students are bussed in.  Actually, bussing in is not the problem.  These students have as much of a right to a decent education as anyone else.  But poverty and a less than stellar local elementary school system in their part of the city has led to some educational deficiencies that require intensive remediation in the high school.  The lower test scores and metal detectors in the high school make an otherwise beautiful suburb look like a dodgy place to live.

I hate to say it but the metal detectors have made a difference in the high school here.  Does the recent incident in Murraysville mean the entire suburb is dangerous?  No, but let’s face it, teenagers are special creatures.  Their brains are undergoing radical changes and they can careen out of control in a nanosecond.  Short of putting them in a state of suspended animation until they’re 21, maybe we should bring out more metal detectors in the middle and high schools.  That doesn’t violate my free range philosophy very much.  I still object to the silly expulsions and suspensions for playacting and bringing butter knives in packed lunches.  But stopping an idea at the door and giving hot headed students a cooling off period?  I think I can live with that.

It could happen anywhere. My district feels a teensy bit safer than Murrysville today.

9 Responses

  1. I agree with you.
    Now, of course, we’ll have the gun nuts jumping up and down, yelling, “See guns don’t kill people; what are you going to do–ban all knives?”
    Of course, the difference is that all of today’s victims are expected to live.

    • Still pretty damaging injuries. From the reports at the hospital it sounds like the stabber was aiming for their junk and got deflected to the abdomen instead. Deep, penetrating injuries with significant damage to the internal organs.
      The Forbes Regional trauma center is located just up the road a spell from Murrysville in Monroeville. Presbyterian hospital in Oakland has a helipad on the roof that gets a lot of use. That’s probably the best hospital around here.

  2. Thank you for this post — anything related to Pittsburgh now makes me instantly think of you. These events are horrible enough but, when they are in our own backyard, it’s even worse.

    • I still think Pittsburgh is pretty safe, especially in my neighborhood. But the funny thing is that many people will bypass my suburb for Murrysville because they think it’s safer.
      When it comes right down to it, no place with teenagers in it is completely safe. They’re in apoptotic mode most of the time. It doesn’t take much stress to send them over the edge.

  3. I am putting off painting my kitchen. The people who owned this house before I did painted the walls with what appears to be oil based high gloss. (What were they thinking??) That means, I have to sand and prime it before I paint. And the ceiling too. Arrrrggghhhhh

    • I’ve seen paint jobs (the one in our main bathroom for example) that make me believe that replacing the wall board would be easier than dealing with the current surface. Since THAT would be a nightmare, a paint job I’ve always hated might just outlive me.

  4. What impressed me was the “take charge” approach of the 15 and 16 year olds who witnessed and took action to sound the alarm, thwart the stabber and tend to the most injured. This is not fledgling brain behavior.

    • Yep, they were quick. But from what I read of the stabber, it sounds to me like he belongs in Western Psych, not in jail charged as an adult. His parents must be devastated.

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