Some of us are still reeling from the images of school children killing one of their own in Chicago last week. 16-year-old Derrion Albert died from brain injuries caused by blunt force trauma to the head after being jumped by other students from his high school. Contrary to numerous erroneous media reports, there was no gang activity involved.

The confusion stems from civilized adults trying to make sense of uncivilized behavior.

There's a classic book written in the 1950's called "Lord of the Flies" about a group of British boys stranded on a deserted island in the Atlantic ocean following a plane crash. The adults didn't survive the crash so the children were left to govern themselves. Eventually, in the absence of adult supervision and with no social rules to conform to, they turn on each other like savages.

In this video found on What About Our Daughter's blog, Central City High School Principal Ras Baraka tried to make sense of an off-campus shooting involving a high school student from his Newark, New Jersey school.

"This is not normal!," he tells an audience of the injured student's peers.

"You're living this life like it's normal. This is abnormal to talk about your friends dying, to not be able to walk home safely from school... this is not normal to be wearing t-shirts that say 'Rest in Peace', to be writing 'Rest in Peace' on the wall. This is not normal! Nobody else's children do this!

Sadly, he's right. Only in the black community are our children killing each other off at alarming rates. What's wrong with our people?

At the end of the book "Lord of the Flies," the children who have already killed two of their own, are in the process of killing a third boy when a naval officer lands on the island, interrupting them. The naval officer's ship was attracted to the island by a fire the kids had set.

The officer expressed surprise at the children's behavior, telling them he expected better from them. The officer who was unaware of the two murdered boys assumed the children were playing a game.

His confusion stemmed from a civilized mind trying to make sense of uncivilized behavior.

  • ontaya brooks

    This is deep, and I think there is a movie with that same title that I never paid much attention too. I will now. This is so sad, parents please talk with your child before it is too late. This could be any one of us tomorrow.

  • kcicero

    And of course one of the mothers of the killers is saying her son is being portrayed wrong, he was protecting himself...the problem lies with the parents, and their lack of discipline of their children. No one is teaching their kids about compassion is every man for himself...

  • free

    i went to H.U. w/ras. it's true. we are the most self-destructive culture and we seem to be accepting it rather than fighting it.

    i'm studying other cultures to see how they raise their children and THEY DO NOT PLAY.

    i watched with interest a discussion on obama's plan for an extended school day. this is in response to what other, more educated countries do. everybody was against it saying it would be too hard on them and their children. everything is too hard for us, too harsh, too long, too time-consuming. etc.

  • missy

    I had to read Lord of Flies in school and it basically was talking about the innate evil inside of all human beings and how if people are taking away from all the laws that they are suppose to abide by in society and I can see how it can be compared because people do act uncivilized far to often.

  • Imalover

    Such a great comparison Sandra... I had to do a report on Lord of the Flies in the 9th grade. I remember crying when Piggy was killed just as I cried when I viewed the video of Derrion. Unfortunately Derrion wasn't a fictional character in a book. So tragic... where does it end?!

  • missy

    @ free i don't think their should be extend school hours I think the amount of holidays spent out of school should be spent in school.Also their will be a increase in dropouts if they do this to the older children .If they want to implement this i think they should start with the younger children just like those other societies do.

  • kcicero

    @ free as a teacher in training I can't say I would necessarily agree with a longer school day knowing all that teachers have to go through. But I do think it's a good idea! I'm studying the different theories of education and those in other countries do things so differently than we do and it shows.

    Unfortunately before we extend the day we have more important issues that need to be taken care of first. Like adequate and equal funding, textbooks, and ridding our inner cities of dilapidated buildings. I definitely think funding a school based on taxes causes a built in disadvantage to students in the inner city.

    The bottom line is the parents, they don't come to the schools to check on their child's progress, they're never home, they don't enforce homework, they don't enforce education as the primary way to elevate one's social status, hell they don't even teach their child compassion for ALL human beings. This is our biggest problem I believe...

  • aqtpie

    Great post, more proof that the end is getting closer!!! JMO

  • yvonne79

    WONDERFUL CLIP- too bad his message was falling on deaf ears. Panning the stand, it doesn't look like these kids were paying much attention. Did you see them looking around like, "what is he talking about?" Ignorance... :blink:

  • yvonne79

    kcicero Says:
    The bottom line is the parents, they don’t come to the schools to check on their child’s progress, they’re never home, they don’t enforce homework, they don’t enforce education as the primary way to elevate one’s social status, hell they don’t even teach their child compassion for ALL human beings. This is our biggest problem I believe…
    I agree with your statements. A parent's involvement in their child's education and their day to day activities can make the world of different. There isn't anything wrong with getting involved. It's called effective parenting!!!
    By the way, home all is well with you. Kiss those adorable babies for me! Also, have you had time to check into that non-profit organization we talked about months ago?

  • kcicero

    Hey Vonne! Okay I'll give them sloppy kisses, and they'll respond by wiping their faces and looking at me with their back up mommy look, lol.

    Yes I have and I still haven't forgotten! But I decided to go back right away for my Master's and then found out I was unexpectedly expecting number three, so now that has to be put on hold, but it's always in the back of my head. Can't do much of anything but my online classes and watch my little lovable heathens run wild for the moment, early contractions have me on "bed rest" ugh...

    How's life treating you?

  • Daisy

    I am neither for or against longer school days but I will say schools system need to focus on QUALITY as well as QUANITY.

    Anybody read NAS open letter regarding this situation? I knew I loved him for a reason lol

  • yvonne79

    No complaints here...just making it do what it do :lol:

  • yvonne79

    @Daisy: Where is Nas' open letter?

  • kcicero

    Yes Daisy and it was spot on, now if only we could get the rappers from all parts of this country to implement mentoring programs and for some to clean up their lyrics a little.

    It wouldn't hurt for more mainstream rappers to start highlighting what really matters in, education, community...

    @ Yvonne lmbo, then do what it do :lol: I really need a list of these smiley's...

  • missmiami

    sandra you are right :) and i gotta give you props. we as black people are so very lost that it's ashame

  • SunnyPA

    Great post and great comments.

    I'm still trying to wrap my head around it. We all read about the violence every day and know it happens, but ... SMH

    Great comparision. I read "lord of the flies" in high school (it's an old book) and found the book quite bothersome. I couldn't wrap my head around it then either. A few years later I and saw the british version of the movie which was just like the book...the action was raw and bothersome. Those kids were too realistic in their "acting".

    As usual, the US tried to do a "civil" remake that lost much of the message.

  • Daisy

    @Yvonne you know we can't name sites not on the list but check out Kimmoras ex blog/website.

    @KC I agree I wish that letter could be read in every school and on 106 n park since the kids love that darn show lol I pray something changes in the community with our kids this is beyond heartbreaking

  • missy

    The letter from Nas can also be found on realtalkny

  • flyqtnva


  • The Divine Ms. K

    And of course, one of the suspects is being defended.

    Silvanus Shannon (sp?) has admitted to jumping on Derrion Albert's head while he was down on the ground AND admitted the Derrion Albert NEVER struck him.

    And of course his FOOL mama is saying he's a good kid and is not being portrayed right and was trying to defend himself. Against an unconscious kid bleeding on the ground????!!! I knew it was coming - her baby was a good kid. :rolleyes:

    Your "baby" is nothing but a thug who killed a young man in cold blood. He's not a good kid and he was not defending himself.

    What the HELL is it with black women and their sons??

  • attorneymom

    "Have you forgotten that once we were brought here, we were robbed of our name, robbed of our language. We lost our religion, our culture, our god...and many of us, by the way we act, we even lost our minds." -- Khallid Abdul Muhammad (1948–2001)

  • starr

    I saw the vid yesterday, and it litterally had me sick.

    Of course these parents are gonna defend their no good kids. But the tape speaks for itself. Defending himself.....GTFOH

  • NichelleWalker/

    LOnger school hours how is that possb here in Chicago when that laid off 5000 teachers. BS you guys can drink all the kool aid ya'll want to this is a cover up to save there azz so they can get the olympic's. I'm laughing at the plan all of a sudden with 4 others kids died the same week before this boy no press but since this one caught on now press. And of course Sandra they will down play they've change the story three times already $$$$ they will do whatever it take to bring the Oylimpic's here. Are however you spell it~~not buying it~~Daily laid off 5000 teachers this year to save budget now time that by 25 kids per class and see and that = crime. Schools are over work teachers underpaid and kids bad as hell... I can tell you they will make it seem what it's not t cover there azz told my momma when it first mad headline newz that Daily was gonna fig out a way to cover this mess to still bring the games to Chicago...Which he has put us in debt we are in 3 billion dollars worth of debt but yet they still want to get Oylimpic people have lost massive jobs~~some of these kids parents pron lost there jobs it's sad. But theres no way for longer school hours here in Chicago there's not enough teachers to support that..... I commend Daily her cover his azz real good before he hopped that united flight~~could let the news say Gags gon wild in Chicago but the truth is they are... The truth is two boyz got shot on there stairs last night~~of course there family said "no they was a good kids all these kids are good kids~~right

    Gangs are a problem in Chicago so don't believe the hype

  • missy

    @ The divine Ms k a lot of kids act different in front of their parents not justifying what he did but some parents should have that gut feeling if their child isn't what they portray to them on a daily basis but if it is on camera then she can't justify this horrific act with the same old line.

  • NichelleWalker/

    sorry for the missed spell words gotta go back into a meeting~~but please believe cover up and money talks and BS walks all day in this city~~~The Mayor can give shyt less about that little boy. But believe what you want to I live here and I do know that was a gang fight~~since when do project kids roll deep but they not gang bangers~~right

  • free

    great perspectives on the longer school days--i have furlough days to take this year so you're right, it probably won't work with the lack of public money and other constraints.

    @attorneymom, i've listened to this quote a THOUSAND times on public enemy's song but never knew who it was.

  • free

    someone on my facebook who lives in chi-town said it's not even a big deal there because people are so numb to it. it's true that it happens everywhere but every now and then, i guess we are shocked into the reality of it.

  • The Divine Ms. K

    @ Missy - I agree with you. I don't doubt there isn't a teenager in this world that does not put on the act of good boy/girl w/ mama and daddy.

    In her case, she hasn't even SEEN the video, but is quick to defend her child. It sounds like denial to me. She knows...