10-Year-Old Girl Dies in After-School Fight Over a Boy

hopscotchThis is one of those stories that makes me want to lock up my children and never let them leave the house again, or move to a deserted island where no one could ever harm them. Something, somewhere where things like the tragic senseless death of 10-year-old Joanna Ramos aren't possible.

It happened in Long Beach, California, one day after classes at Willard Elementary School in February. According to the Los Angeles Times, Ramos and an 11-year-old schoolmate were reportedly arguing over what many fourth grade girls argue over -- a boy. They planned to meet after school and fight it out in an alley near the school, and that's when the plan went horribly wrong.


The whole fight lasted only about one minute, according to reports, and while a few punches were thrown, both girls headed home to their respective families shortly thereafter. Hours later, however, Ramos was dead from blunt-force head trauma.

The story is making headlines again because yesterday, it was announced that while her death was ruled a homicide, prosecutors won't file any charges against the 11-year-old. And while Ramos's mother expressed frustration over this move, it's difficult to see what good it would do anyway.

As horrible I feel for Ramos's family, I feel almost as awful for the 11-year-old who killed her. By all accounts both girls were fighting, and it could have easily gone the other way. Now she will have to live the rest of her life knowing that someone died at her hands. I can't even begin to imagine how one little mistake with such enormous consequences can forever alter someone's life. I image the struggle it must be to even go on for both families, though at least one still has their daughter there with them.

Was it an isolated freak incident? Sure, and tragic accidents happen every day to children, but this one doesn't shake me to my core any less. I think of my sweet, innocent 3-year-old daughter, and all of the hurdles and issues she will have to face in the future, and cases like this make it almost unbearable.

Do you think the 11-year-old should have been charged in this case?


Image via humbert15/Flickr

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