By JILL REILLY
A 17-year old high school student has been suspended for a poem she wrote about the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Courtni Webb wrote the poem in a personal notebook about Adam Lanza and what she felt were his reasons for the mass murder at the Connecticut school earlier this month.
Courtni, who writes 'all types' of poetry to express herself, told Today that she was just trying to express 'her belief that tragedies in Sandy Hook happen because people feel helpless.' But the contents of the poem prompted the school officials at the Life Learning Academy on Treasure Island, San Francisco, to suspend her.
'I understand the killings in Connecticut. I know why he pulled the trigger,' wrote Courtni Webb. 'Why are we oppressed by a dysfunctional community of haters and blamers?'
The poem was found in a personal notebook of Courtni's by a teacher, reported examiner.com. Courtni attends Connecticut's Life Learning Academy, a 60-pupil vocational school that prides itself on being able to help students who have not been able to settle at other establishments.
She says in the past she has handed in poems dealing with dark issues and has not experienced any problems. Her poems are a therapeutic way of expressing herself, explained the student, and should not be over-analysed. '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.
'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. The San Francisco Unified School District are currently deciding about Courtni's future at the school and if she poses genuine threat to the safety to her fellow students.
But for now, she is suspended until further notice.
The massacre, which President Obama yesterday described as 'the worst day of my presidency', has prompted a look into new gun controls and banning assault rifles such as AR-15 Bushmaster used by Lanza in his rampage. The National Rifle Association has resisted those efforts vociferously, arguing instead that schools should have armed guards for protection.
Obama's comments come as the schoolroom shooting has elevated the issue of gun violence to the forefront of public attention.
'I am skeptical that the only answer is putting more guns in schools,' Obama said.
'And I think the vast majority of the American people are skeptical that that somehow is going to solve our problem.'