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Pay no attention to the people behind the curtain

Friday, September 29, 2006

Send Good Thoughts to Weston, please

This story is quite sad:
The 49-year-old principal of Weston High School died about 3:30 p.m. Friday from gunshot wounds inflicted by a freshman student earlier in the day.

The principal, John Klang, approached the student, Eric Hainstock, after the boy had broken away from a school custodian just inside the school entrance. The custodian had taken a shotgun from the boy in that initial struggle.

Sauk County Sheriff Randy Stammen said Hainstock shot Klang in the chest, head and leg with a .22-caliber revolver he had taken from the family home, just outside the small town of La Valle.
The whole thing is compounded by what happened earlier in the day, in an apparently unrelated incident:
Less than fifteen minutes before the school shooting, a 16-year-old Weston High School student crashed a car at high speed and was pronounced dead on arrival at the UW Hospital. The boy's father is a member of the school board.

Sheriff Stammen said a deputy observed the car speeding on State Highway G, followed it, then lost sight of it on West Harris Road. He discovered the car moments later, crashed on the west shoulder of State Highway K.

The driver was not wearing a seatbelt. A passenger in the car, another boy, was injured, but treated and released at Reedsburg Area Medical Center.
When I first heard about the shooting, I thought about writing a post including my usual reminder that, despite this shooting, one in Colorado, and the Green Bay plot, children are still safer at school than driving to school. Sigh.

Fellow MPS teacher The Game points out that these incidents "are not happening at the schools that you would 'think' they would happen at," meaning the Milwaukee Public Schools. I've never felt unsafe in MPS (I got close in the suburbs). My students, however, are probably more likely to kill or be killed outside of school; that presents its own set of challenges and tragedies.

Anyway, my heart's out to those teachers and students. It will be a long weekend.

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