Treat shoot­ing in­ci­dents as the tragedy they are

The Washington Post Sunday - - SUNDAY OPINION - Join the de­bate at wash­ing­ton­­cal-opin­ions

The cov­er­age of the shoot­ing on the 300 block of Franklin Street NE left out sig­nif­i­cant de­tails [“Three ju­ve­niles, 3 men shot, wounded,” Lo­cal Di­gest, May 10]. It was a beau­ti­ful spring night at a pop­u­lar lo­cal park that is cen­tral to a vi­brant com­mu­nity and di­verse neigh­bor­hood in the District.

When the shoot­ing oc­curred, hun­dreds of chil­dren were on the play­ground. They were play­ing bas­ket­ball, do­ing home­work and un­wind­ing from a long school day be­fore the sun went down. I am a teacher at a pub­lic char­ter school in the neigh­bor­hood. Dozens of my stu­dents were play­ing bas­ket­ball at the park. Many nearby char­ter schools have sports prac­tice at this park, and the Boys & Girls Clubs take chil­dren there to play. When the shots were fired, Imag­ine Hope Com­mu­nity Char­ter School was fin­ish­ing soc­cer prac­tice. A stu­dent’s shoul­der was nar­rowly missed by a bul­let; he dropped his English home­work and school sup­plies on the ground, and they now are in po­lice cus­tody as ev­i­dence.

Was this event so in­signif­i­cant that it had to be rolled into cov­er­age of another shoot­ing in an en­tirely dif­fer­ent area of the city?

It is not un­til we start cov­er­ing these in­ci­dents for what they are — shoot­ing into an open park, a true tragedy ef­fect­ing hun­dreds of chil­dren — that we will honor the trauma our chil­dren are deal­ing with ev­ery day.

Anna Salzberg, Wash­ing­ton

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