Update: a simple and beautiful tribute by Town Hall to Gloria Leonidas (the woman killed there last week during the rampage). Ms. Leonidas' profession was lighting design. I thought it worthy of posting. Thank you to the Stranger Slog for their posting of it.
The story of the killer's saga in West Seattle just goes on. The West Seattle Blog is reporting that the blueberry plant he picked up at the West Seattle Nursery went to a former teacher he had at Summit K-12 more than 25 years ago. Unbelievable. He did not leave a note so she had no idea who had left it until she read about it. She does not know why he reached out to her and turned everything over to the police.
One comment says:
The reason that I find this new update extremely alarming is that it
confirms that this killer was in the neighborhood of Schmitz Park,
Lafayette, Madison and West Seattle High, possibly even as the security
precautions were lifted around 2:00 so that students could be released
at the normal hour. It’s possible that Stawicki was in direct proximity
of students who were released from school to walk home. If any students
had been hurt by this madman, the district would have faced enormous
liability, especially given the haphazard nature in which the district
handled the decision-making and communication regarding student safety
in this situation. Thankfully, no SPS students were hurt by Stawicki,
but the district has a lot to answer for, and had better learn from this
for any future incidents.
Then this from another commenter:
Thankfully, no SPS students were hurt by Stawicki, so what does the
district have to answer for? And we all can learn from this for any
future incidents that may or may not happen. It seems like people want to blame the school district for something,
anything, even when nothing happens. So tiresome.
Clearly, this person doesn't realize the "thankfully" does not go to the district but to luck. It's not luck that any parent should depend on for the safety of their child at school. The district may not have known the extent of the killer's roaming but they knew he was still at large and had a car while in West Seattle.
I am stunned at the number of people who say "nothing happened" at Lowell, at Lafayette and now in West Seattle during a crime crisis and shrug. I just don't think if it were your child, you would be quite that blase (either that or you have faith in a higher source).
It seems at least one parent is challenging the investigation report. This is a parent of one of the children questioned by the principal. The principal, as you may recall, maintains she didn't know the parent was the child's parent (and that the parent had a different last name than the child). As it turns out, that parent sat in the outer office with all the rest of the children (who knew her as the child's mother) while the principal questioned the children, one by one, including her own.
What is more serious is that the district apparently did not interview all the parents. In fact, one parent was given interview dates and two of them were for AFTER the report came out. So the parent had zero opportunity to give her input.
A little shoddy on the district's part. That this investigation was so quick (compared to the year-long slog that was Lowell's) seems to show the district can't decide HOW to do an investigation. (And the district chose to hire an outside investigator for the Lowell incident but not the Lafayette incident. I have to wonder what an outside investigator might have done differently.)
What is also interesting is that the PTA leadership does not want seem to want to have any discussion about the issue. Now I can see not getting into specifics - it does no good - but to issues like when/how children are questioned, parents are notified, boundaries, parents visiting classrooms, etc., I do think it IS the PTA's issue.
If not the parent-sanctioned body at a school, then who do parents go to for answers? The PTA leadership seems to think the parents should go to the district or the Board (and we know the Board is NOT the right place, either). I am troubled by how PTAs seem to becoming fund-raising machines and little else.
This is certainly my opinion and if you have a different one, I'd be interested in your take and particularly the reasoning behind it.