I don’t armchair detective the constant stream of crimes in the news but do pay attention when children are involved.  I feel relieved about the recent turn that the Trayvon Martin case took and hope justice will occur.  Also, during this calm before the trial, I hope we might revisit conversations about a smaller story, Joanna Ramos’ death at the hands of her schoolmate.

Joanna Ramos

On February 24, 10-year old Joanna faught with a female classmate and later died as a result of her injuries. According to Joanna’s friends, it was against her nature but she showed up for a pre-scheduled fight in the alley behind school while supposedly in “after-school care”.

By March 5th when Joanna’s mourning family buried her, the conversations stopped and despite Joanna’s death being ruled a homicide, no actions were taken.  Official police statements stressed that due to, “The unusual nature of the tragedy… no arrests are immediately planned.”

There are two sides to every story, and granted, I received my information from the carefully worded media, not first-hand. But, it troubles me.  Why weren’t teachers aware of the girls’ absence? Perhaps, they could have prevented or stopped the fight.

Even more, witnesses reported that the assailant grabbed Joanna’s head and smashed it to her knee.  When I grew up, girl fights involved slapping palms flailing at each other’s faces.  I doubt she planned to kill Joanna but this WWE move indicates extensive intended harm.  It’s thought that this blunt-force trauma caused the internal bleeding that killed Joanna.

Shockingly, as of today, the only action against the sole suspect was transferring her to a new school.  Whether or not she’s been charged, shouldn’t the whole family be enrolled in anger management counseling?  To protect students of the school she’s entering, the school should be able to enforce some level of intervention.

I understand the hesitation with arresting this gal, potentially exposing her to worse examples that could pull her down a more negative path.  I know it’s tough teaching 11 year-olds accountability for their actions. Bottom line, her actions caused Joanna’s death.  Something needs to ensure that she realizes the immense gift of each new day and chooses every action better.

FOLLOW UP on 4/19: No charges pressed and new facts revealed.  I realize they couldn’t reveal these facts during the investigation.  I still feel strongly that anger management or counsling should happen because both girls walked up to the fight with the intent to brawl and only one walked away. A friend of mine helped me see the teachers’ perspective and that perhaps the girls knew the system and how to work around it so as to not get caught.  Thank you!

Tough one… your thoughts? 

2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. AlohaKarina
    Apr 13, 2012 @ 16:33:38

    Agreed. If she gets off, I don’t doubt she will attack someone again in the future.


    • Sarah Harris
      Apr 13, 2012 @ 23:31:37

      I’m really trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, that while the fight was intentional, the death was not. I’m going to sound really old when I say this but whether it’s all the games, movies, or tv, the fact that parents aren’t there saying “That’s entertainment and would have serious consequences and never be allowed in real life” is what failed her.


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