Courtni Webb suspended after writing poem about Adam Lanza

8:52 PM, Dec 28, 2012   |    comments
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By Alan Wang

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO/CNN) - A San Francisco high school student is facing possible expulsion for writing a dark poem about the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

She didn't write a memorial to the victims or voice her grief about the devastating incident.

Instead, she said she could see what drove Adam Lanza to do what he did.

"I understand the killings in Connecticut. I know why he pulled the trigger," said Courtni Webb.

Those words in Webb's poem prompted school officials at the Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island to suspend the 17-year-old senior until further notice.

"Why are we oppressed by a dysfunctional community of haters and blamers. The meaning of the poem is talking about society and how I understand why things like that incident happened. So it's not like I'm agreeing with it, but that's how the school made it seem," said Webb.

She says she didn't turn in the poem as an assignment; instead, the teacher discovered it in class and took it to the principal.

But Webb says she's turned in dark poems about suicide and sadness in the past with no problem. It's a genre she likes.

"For example, the only person I can think of would be like Stephen King. He writes weird stuff all the time. That doesn't mean he's gonna do it or act it out," said Webb.

But the atmosphere has changed drastically since the Sandy Hook tragedy, and now the school is emphasizing its policy that Life Learning Academy takes a zero tolerance approach to violence, the threat of violence, and a violation of any of these rules can result in dismissal from the school.

"I feel like they're over reacting. Why? Because my daughter doesn't have a history of violence. She didn't threaten anybody. She didn't threaten herself. She simply said she understood why," said her mother, Valerie Statham.

Webb says her poems are a therapeutic way of expressing herself, but now it's up to the San Francisco Unified School District to decide if the poem is a form of art of a genuine threat to the safety of Webb's fellow students.

 

KGO/CNN

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