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So far this year there have been 129 homicides in the District, and at least three were under the age of 17: 11-year-old Karon Brown, 16-year-old Steffen Brathwaite, and 17-year-old Jamel Kirkland.

After an especially deadly summer, kids are returning to school where administrators and teachers are now trying to provide students a sense of normalcy. And of course, not every school is the same. Schools in Southeast D.C. are the most impacted, as these neighborhoods are seeing a disproportionate number of killings. 

To help students cope, mental health counselors have been dispatched to some schools. But how kids process what has happened varies—sometimes they want to share, other times they want to grieve internally. Oftentimes, students process loss through art. 

While death has become somewhat normalized, it’s still traumatizing says KIPP DC’s deputy chief academic officer for high schools Jami Dunham. (Jamel Kirkland attended KIPP DC Somerset College Preparatory.) 

“Kids know it’s not right,” Dunham tells the Post’s Perry Stein

The strength and resilience of these children is amazing. Photographer Beverly Price noted as much after spending time with the brother and friends of Karon Brown, who was fatally shot in late July. They still have the energy to play and laugh in a world that violently took someone they loved.

Have you or someone you know been impacted by the homicides? City Paper is putting together remembrances for those killed this year. Write us by replying to this newsletter or writing me directly. Amanda Michelle Gomez (tips? Email agomez@washingtoncitypaper.com)


  • New study explores how hard it is to travel to schools that help close the achievement gap for at-risk students. [D.C. Policy Center]

  • D.C. police unions to hold their holiday party at Trump’s hotel. And surprise, people aren’t happy about it. [Post

  • Activists could be priced out of organizing protests if the government decides to charge them for security. [Post]

  • First national trans visibility march over the weekend attracts hundreds. [WAMU]

LOOSE LIPS LINKS, by Mitch Ryals (tips? mryals@washingtoncitypaper.com

  • Massive Reunion Square development in limbo because of developer’s (alleged) sins. [Post, WCP]

  • There is a legit fight club in a Harrisonburg, Virginia, backyard. [Post]

  • The driver who hit and killed cycling advocate Dave Salovesh was sentenced to eight-and-a-half years in prison. [DCist, WCP]

  • Lawsuit alleging unconstitutional arrests on Inauguration Day can move forward. [DCist]

  • Foggy Bottom ANC exceeds its budget. [GW Hatchet]

YOUNG & HUNGRY LINKS, by Laura Hayes (tips? lhayes@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Nina May opening next month in Logan Circle will source its ingredients from within 150 miles of D.C. [WCP]

  • How does Ovi’s cereal taste? [Post]

  • Town Hall is officially closed. [Washingtonian]

  • Cafe Romeo ordered to close until further notice by the health department. [PoPville]

ARTS LINKS, by Kayla Randall (tips? krandall@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • Ms. Purple does poignant drama perfectly. [WCP]

  • A deep dive into the history of the DC Black Repertory Company. [DC Theatre Scene]

  • George Mason University will erect a memorial dedicated to the people Mason enslaved. [Post]

SPORTS LINKS, by Kelyn Soong (tips? ksoong@washingtoncitypaper.com)

  • The Nats, the team that started the season 19-31, will host a single-elimination wild card game on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. against the Milwaukee Brewers. [MASN]

  • That game will be played at the exact same time as Game 2 of the WNBA Finals at the Entertainment and Sports Arena. The Mystics, who got swept last year in the finals, took Game 1 over the Connecticut Sun, 95-86. [WCP]

  • The Washington Spirit may not be going to the playoffs, but the team treated a sold-out crowd at the Maryland SoccerPlex to a 2-1 win over the league-leading North Carolina Courage. The goal scorers? World Cup champs and roommates Rose Lavelle and Mallory Pugh, naturally. [WCP]

  • Wayne Rooney won’t be on the pitch next weekend after earning his fifth yellow card of the season in D.C. United’s 0-0 draw with the New York Red Bulls. [Black & Red United

  • Rookie quarterback Dwayne Haskins threw three interceptions in his NFL debut. [NFL.com]

MAKE PLANS, by Emma Sarappo (Love this section? Get the full To Do This Week newsletter here. Tips? esarappo@washingtoncitypaper.com)

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