Principal Stabbed to Death in Classroom by Her Student


This story is a chilling reminder to us all that no school is immune to violence.

A Memphis principal, 49-year-old Suzette York, was found dead in a classroom Wednesday lying in a pool of her own blood. Police say they have arrested 17-year-old student Eduardo Marmolejo and charged him with the murder. If it wasn't disturbing enough that a student would kill his teacher in cold blood, there's also this grizzly detail: Police have indicated that the teen's crime was entirely premeditated.


According to the affidavit, Marmolejo admitted that he didn't like York because she "made him angry." Moreover, he had been planning to kill her since May. He had waited until Wednesday because that's when he knew he'd be alone with her in a classroom; then, when he had his chance, he stabbed her to death.

Memphis authorities, as well as the community members, seem to be particularly shocked by this story because it occurred at a small, private, church-affiliated school (Seventh-Day Adventist Kentucky-Tennessee Conference in Goodlettsville) of less than 100 students. As Marvin Lowman, communications director for the school, explained:

You don't expect these kinds of things to happen, especially in a Christian school ... But we're all human, and they do.

And, what makes the story even sadder is the fact that York loved her job and in turn was beloved by many students and community members. One of her former students said:

She was a wonderful person who was very much involved with her students, a person who cared deeply about the development of her students ... This was not the way she was supposed to go.

Of course, what's so devastating about this story, in addition to the tragic loss of life, is that it's proof that violence in schools does not discriminate with respect to size or affiliation. It's an important reminder of how much our educators risk, sacrifice, and endure in an effort to educate our kids.


Image via dcJohn/Flickr

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