Saturday, March 15, 2008

'At wit's end'

"After a fight that sent a Capitol Hill High School student to the hospital with stab wounds Thursday, students and parents are left to wonder if the halls of Oklahoma City schools are safe," The Oklahoman reported yesterday ('Knife attack at Capitol Hill leaves some parents in fear').

Sean Pearl, a 17-year-old junior at the school, said he saw the fight and he and his classmates immediately feared for their safety.

"I was scared," Pearl said. "After they put us on lockdown, I got a teacher to let me go to the bathroom so I could call him (my dad) and get him to come get me. I heard people saying they were going to come up here (to the school) with guns and stuff like that."

Pearl said the sudden and swift attack was carried out with a penknife.

"I saw a guy put a bandana over his face, and then he ran up behind the guy (the victim), stabbed him five times in the back, once in the side, once in the arm and slashed his neck open," Pearl said.

Pearl was back on campus Thursday evening with his father, Henry Pearl, to attend a student-parent-teacher conference. Henry Pearl said he didn't feel like his son was safe at Capitol Hill. But with little more than a year left for Sean in high school, Henry said he didn't think there was much else that could be done to protect his son before his schooling ends.

"I just pray," the elder Pearl said. "I pray a lot." ...

"The security does need to be beefed up here," he said. "I'm at wits end. I hated to even have to send my son to this school because of the name it's made for itself. I grew up in Midwest City in the '70s and I knew about Capitol Hill. It's only gotten worse."

While he's praying, Mr. Pearl should pray that the New Hope Scholarship Program being pushed by Sen. James Williamson passes the Oklahoma legislature. Sen. Williamson's bill would give new hope to students at certain schools (and Capitol Hill High School is one of the schools on the list).

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