10th Graders at Life Academy: Our Thoughts on Oakland Violence

Five year old Gabriel Martinez was shot and killed on December 30th, 2011 near 54 Ave. in Oakland, California. The boy was helping his father to clean up the front of their taco truck when this terrible event happened.

How we feel

  1. I’m really mad at this situation because he wasn’t doing anything wrong and even if he was, he was a baby who just started to live his life! People these days are so stupid for thinking they can own a gun and shoot whoever the hell they want! What’s wrong with them?
  2. I feel bad because the man that killed him is still on the run and has no feelings to say sorry to the family.
  3. I feel scared for my little brother and sisters.
  4. It’s weird that I don’t feel anything. I feel numb.


  1. Why did they shoot the boy? What did they boy do to them? What do they win by doing this? What did the police do about it?
  2. Why would someone kill a boy without knowing him? Why hasn’t he turned himself in?
  3. Why is there a lot of violence going on in Oakland? Why do people like using weapons in a negative way? What makes humans kill humans? Why would you kill a little kid?
  4. What’s wrong with society?

The extent of violence in Oakland

  1. Gabriel wasn’t the first kid that was shot and died. He was the third kid that died recently in Oakland and that shows a lot of violence.
  2. There is a lot of violence in Oakland. Gangs are a huge part of the violence and I think authorities are tired of trying to make Oakland a safe place.
  3. Violence does happen a lot. Almost everyday someone dies. Sometimes there aren’t any reasons. Cops shouldn’t be trusted with guns either.
  4. There are so many killings in Oakland I have lost count. Someone got killed by my house.
  5. When I was a child a man was shot outside my house in the middle of the night.
  6. Oakland is a city where there  are different kinds of violence. Normal teenagers and infants are being affected even by the cops.
  7. I think violence in Oakland is getting way off board. There are people getting shot, killed, etc. It’s the worst thing going on in Oakland.
  8. I think there’s violence because people don’t know how to hold in their anger. Sometimes they feel like revenge is a good answer to their problems.

Why is there violence and what can we do?

  1. There is violence in Oakland because people are stuck in problems. You never know when you’ll get the gun shot. A lot of people become drug dealers once they drop out of school and have nothing to do or don’t have a job.
  2. I think they choose violence because it’s the easy way to make money fast.
  3. They want to feel powerful. They want to destroy lives.
  4. Many people are poor and their families are messed up so they join gangs and gangs are trouble.
  5. Give everyone jobs so that they stay out of the streets.
  6. I think we can solve this by making this country rich and pressuring the president to make more jobs for everybody.
  7. There is violence in Oakland because people have problems. They want to get money and they feel powerful when they kill someone.
  8. No matter what we do about it there is always going to be violence.
  9. We can all get educated and get a life. Education is the future.
  10. Provide jobs for people.
  11. The mayor of Oakland needs to do something about violence in the streets.

By Ms. Woodard’s Students: Pablo Cox, Alexandra Guajardo, Hannah Dobashi, Natalia Espinosa Ortiz, Aydet Bernal, Ahoud Dobashi, Byron Mendoza, Servando Gastelum, Autumn Criss, James Monroe, Jaime Sakr, Ariana Luna-Floriano, and Flor Osores


2 comments on “10th Graders at Life Academy: Our Thoughts on Oakland Violence

  1. juan says:

    ohhh wow who cares?

    • EMO says:

      I, for one, care a great deal! And, you probably should to because you live in Oakland. We should all be committed to making this town a better, SAFER place.

      I am disappointed in your apathy. I am also disappointed that you are “hating on” a group of Life Academy students who are trying to make a difference!

      Writing has the potential to move mountain because it can spark the interest and passion of millions…. I applaud Ms. Woodward’s class for the writing.

      Remember, “The pen is mightier than the sword!” And, it always will be!

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