Friday, July 30, 2010

The time has come

Beckford's Guardian Angel
"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes--and ships--and sealing-wax--
Of cabbages--and kings--
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

- Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

Carol is ready and needs our help.

Please join us at a vigil to raise awareness for Zac Champommier:

When: This Saturday, July 31.

Please send me an email for more details: deb.e.lopez at gmail dot com


When I started this blog a couple of summers ago it was with the intent of filling an informational void that we had in the absence of a proper web site.

I wanted it to be an aggregate of news about Beckford and LAUSD. As time went on, I included news from Nobel Middle School and Granada Hills Charter High School, because many of our parents have students at all three schools. The blog then branched out into local educational politics and community activities (as well as community activism) and so now it's pretty much a hyperlocal community blog, mostly about Beckford, but also sometimes about our broader neighborhood.

The families who populate our school and the staff who work there have in many cases become interwoven in each others lives. That's just the way it is... it goes beyond Beckford being just a work place. I've often thought that in the smaller suburban communities, schools are the heart of a neighborhood, even for those who no longer have children attending those schools.

And so it is with Beckford. It is the heart of our neighborhood, and much of what goes on within it's gates reverberates throughout the entire community. Sometimes, it is the opposite, events which affect the psyche of our neighborhood sometimes seep onto the campus. Many of us who still spend hours within the gates of the school and those who no longer have chlidren who attend the school (but still live within the heartbeat of the neighborhood) also have a vested interest in events which are important to the community.

We tend to band together in times of trouble and when there is a serious issue before us that needs our collective voice and now we as a community are faced with just such an issue: the senseless killing of one of our neighborhood's best and brightest lights, Zac Champommier.

I've heard people say that Zac's killing isn't a "Beckford issue", and on a literal level that's true.

But anyone who's ever truly understood the psyche of this school and the surrounding neighborhood knows that we are not only just parents at a school, but members of a tight-knit neighborhood and a fiercely protective community which values all its members and most especially our children.

Zac belongs to all of us now. He is Everyone's Son. He is mine and he is yours and he is this community's and I have offered the help of this blog to celebrate his life, as well as to seek answers from those responsible for taking it.

You may or may not agree with that editorial position, but its one that's been made and one that I will stand by for as long as Carol Champommier continues to fight for the truth. This blog will fight with her.

I hope you'll help us.


Unknown said...

Wow! Beautifully articulated Debbie. Thank you so much! Having been such an active member of the Beckford Community at one time, even though my girls have long since graduated and we may no longer have a presence at the school, the students, the teachers, the staff, and administration will always hold a special place in our hearts. We loved Zac and will always remember his beautiful smile and the light that he shined for all of his years at Beckford and beyond. Needless to say we will be there tonight.

Debbie Lopez said...

Cathy, it was the example set by parents like you and Valerie and Bice and Stephanie Stewart (I could go on and on and on...) who inspired me to become involved when I first arrived at Beckford... you showed me it was the teachers AND the parents who helped make the school experience there so special. You all were my Mommy Heroes back then, and you still are.

See you tonight.

Michael Higby said...

we've been told that the only way our schools can get better and our communities can work is if parents get involved and the community comes together to support each other especially at a time of need.

Debbie Lopez and these folks are the prime example of doing just that. Why would anyone discourage them?

Anonymous said...

anortsfDebbie, What happened to Zac is everyone's issue because it could have been anyone faced with what must have been a truly frightening scene. Zac demonstrated his humanity that night, something that was clearly lacking in the parties responsible for his death.