"Of course I do. Everyone who plays ball knows what should have been done after the game is lost," Brown said.
Northern has been troubled by discipline problems since the beginning of the year. In November, Brown suspended 1,200 students who defied her in an attempt to restore order. She urged parents to get involved.
Morgan State University and WJZ-TV formed a partnership with the school in an attempt to improve conditions.
But students and teachers, who asked not to be identified, said the school continues to be on the verge of chaos. Students are still roaming the halls when they are supposed to be in class, and fights are still breaking out regularly.
"This school has been dysfunctional [from the beginning of the school year]. I believe strong corrective actions should have been taken," said Del. Howard P. Rawlings, a Baltimore Democrat and architect of the city's school reform measures.
Patricia Morris, a board member and Morgan State professor, said she believes aggressive measures need to be taken to turn Northern around. Already, she said, school officials have plans to divide the school up into small academies of 300 or 400 students this summer.
She is hopeful that businesses and members of the community will be willing to help find the money to do renovations to the school that would be needed.
"We know that a drastic step has to be taken to address the physical structure," Morris said.
The crime is the latest case of a disturbing trend that criminologists have called "the juvenilization of homicide." Weinhold said city police have a unit of 23 officers organized into the "Youth Violence Strike Force" concentrating on reducing violent crimes committed by people 24 and under.
"This senseless murder strikes at the very core of what the entire criminal justice system is grappling with," he said.
Pub Date: 2/13/98