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School violence in 1927

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=103186662

I stumbled onto an interesting NPR StoryCorps story about a school bombing in Michigan in 1927. A man angry about property taxes being used for public schools decided to plant dynamite in the basement of the town’s school – killing 38 students, 45 people in total. The man was the caretaker of the school building and had access to many of the underground areas. The StoryCorps piece features two of the bombing’s survivors. You can tell by their voices they’re VERY old but the memory of the bombing remains fresh to these two men. I’ve always liked the StoryCorps pieces because they let the interview subjects express a lot of emotion. They’re incredibly powerful at letting people tell stories without much interference from an anchor or reporter.

I also like that these stories generally tend to coincide with a bigger issue; in this case, the tenth anniversary of the Columbine shootings, so it’s fascinating to find out that violence at schools is not a recent phenomenon.

As far as newsgathering process goes, I haven’t had any shifts since Spring Break. I need to sign up for one more (easy to fit in the schedule!) so I’m not worried about coming up with some good story ideas in the meantime. Plenty has been going on, too, with state lawmakers in action in Jefferson City, spring weather, and upcoming high school spring sport championships.

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