Hillsboro students' emotions frayed after third classmate death

Tuesday, November 23, 2010 at 4:18pm

The first day back to school after discovering that another of their classmates had died proved worrisome for some Hillsboro High School students Tuesday morning.

Circulated by text messages and word of mouth, rumors of a lockdown and a gun at the school were just part of what Hillsboro students faced at school the morning after police identified 16-year-old Michael A. Walker Monday evening as the victim of a Sunday evening shooting.

“High schoolers shouldn’t have to — or any students — shouldn’t have to be dealing with the death of a classmate in that kind of way,” said Metro Nashville Public Schools spokeswoman Olivia Brown.

“This makes the third student at the school who has died since the start of the school year, so I think that probably contributed to some of the rumors and things that went on because that’s a lot to deal with.”

On the evening of Oct. 23, a car struck and killed 15-year-old Damon Donelson as he crossed Ellington Parkway, believed to be on his way to a friend’s house. Over the Labor Day weekend, someone shot 16-year-old Lamar Hughes while he attended a gathering of friends and family near the 1200 block of 14th Avenue South.

So student emotions ran high Tuesday morning.

“There are lots of rumors going around,” Brown said.

Parents started arriving at the school midmorning Tuesday to sign their kids out of school. Grief counselors were on hand for students or teachers who needed to talk to them.

Additional police officers at the school also prompted speculation that they were searching for suspects in Walker’s murder. Brown said that “still may be partially true, but then I’ve since just found out that they were there just really as a precautionary measure because this was the first day back after the child was killed.”

Other than some upset students — and the rumors — there hadn’t been any issues at Hillsboro Tuesday, according to Brown.

In a release Monday night, police said someone shot Walker, of Cisco Street, Sunday in an alley between Bradford and Douglas avenues. A witness told police two males wearing dark clothing and who appeared to be in their late teens were seen running through the alley following the gunfire.

Police asked anyone with information on who might be responsible for Walker’s murder to call Crime Stoppers at 74-CRIME or text the word “CASH” along with a message to 274637 (CRIMES). 

14 Comments on this post:

By: richgoose on 11/24/10 at 7:32

I think that all of the students who are bereaved by these shootings and killing of fellow students be given a week off with no scholastic demerits as a time of mourning.

These killings must have a negative effect on the learning capabilities of the students who felt a kinship with the departed.

By: wataboutbob on 11/24/10 at 8:34

Maybe keeping busy and trying to return to normal would be the bestt therapy, along with onsite counselors.

By: sickofstupidity on 11/24/10 at 9:00

75% of these kids could care less about getting an education. Go visit Hillsboro and see for yourself. It is only a little bit better than the other Metro schools. Get rid of the useless scum so those that want to learn can do so. We are short changing the kids who want to better themselves. Crimes are committed daily there. Last week an officer was struck trying to arrest a scumbag and the gang unit was their then too. Nobody ever reports about the daily garbage decent kids and teachers have to put up with there. Lets go in there and kick their a**** out or put them in jail.

By: girliegirl on 11/24/10 at 9:06

@Sickofstupidity...That's exactly why some of us have pulled our kids out of Metro schools entirely, put all of them into private Christian schools, while at the same time, going into complete financial despair. It's not as if we have a choice anymore.

By: Funditto on 11/24/10 at 9:08

Totally agree sick. I have a child there and walking the hall is harrowing. The thugs bump into you and say nothing. The girls look like prostitutes and the good kids are terrified.

By: Funditto on 11/24/10 at 9:09

Girlie - some of us don't have a choice. Especially if their child is disabled. There are NO private schools that will accept a child with mental AND physical disabilities. And not all private schools are Christian. In fact the best ones in Nashville are non-denominational.

By: total_kos on 11/24/10 at 11:32

As parents of teenagers know, our teens, while they may may think and act like they're grown, are truly still children. I say this to say that I wouldn't call a child scum. The kids you are referencing didn't get that way by themselves.

By: Funditto on 11/24/10 at 11:44

I've seen them. They are scum.

By: NewYorker1 on 11/24/10 at 11:47

I think it's time to hold the parents responsible. When a student gets in trouble, require the parents to pay a fee before the child can return back to school. I BET the parents will start showing up and doing something about their menace to society kids. I've said this a thousand times, "education starts and ends at home". When students get out of hand, kick their butts out of school and make the parents pay a fee to get back in school. When you start hitting these parents in the pocket for their child's behavior, then I think you'll start seeing some improvements.

By: Funditto on 11/24/10 at 11:58

Lots of the kids at HHS in trouble do not live with parents. It's an aunt or a g'mother or uncle. Most don't have phones, internet access or food. IMO, the only thing that would get the attention of whoever is in charge of these kids is to KICK THEM OUT OF SCHOOL. Let the ones who want to learn, learn. Teachers at HHS are leaving in droves because they are out of control. Put more ROs on campus and lower the tolerance for the thugs behavior. Bring back SSA, too!

By: NewYorker1 on 11/24/10 at 1:26

There's going to have to be some harsh realities placed on people who bring children into this world and who are not prepared for parenthood both mentally and financially. There's absolutely NO excuse for accidents these days with all the birth control and protection devices available. If a person is on government assistant, both male and female, then they should be required to take the birth control shot as long as they are receiving financial assistance from tax payers. No shot, no check. That goes for WIC, students who are receiving government grants for school, etc.

By: Sickofitall on 11/24/10 at 3:22

I would like to see the comparison of the violence and death at Hillsboro compared to a few years ago when they rezoned all of Hillwood's THUGS into Hillsboro. Both my kids go there and periodically when I go there now, it looks like a rave is happening in the front of the school, as compared to a few years ago when the students seemed a bit more civilized.

Be kind to bacteria, it is the only culture some people know.

By: Sickofitall on 11/24/10 at 3:25

New Yorker1,
These parents do not care if the students go to school or not. I was told by an administrator several years ago that when the kids get in trouble there, some of the parents could care less, but take away their child's cell phone, the parents are there in a heartbeat. This is a bit upside-down to me...

By: 4gold on 2/23/11 at 8:43

I graduated from Hillsboro when it was a neighborhood school and a great place to go to school. Stop importing the problems of Cleveland Park and it can be again. Pains me to see what metro has done to it.

Go Dores, Preds, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!