Allegheny County

‘The trauma is too much’: Teacher’s union leader reacts to shooting death of Oliver Citywide student

PITTSBURGH — It almost feels like déjà vu.

“It was shock then you know it’s just hard to explain because it’s so awful,” said Nina Esposito-Visgitis.

Police descended upon Oliver Citywide Academy on Wednesday for another murder right outside the front door as questions piled up.

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“Was it one of our kids? Did one of our kids do it? How are the teachers is everyone safe? Just so many emotions that a sick feeling how can this happen again,” said Esposito-Visgitis.

It was January 2022 when Marquis Campbell was gunned down while sitting in his school van outside the school. Recently, a pair of brothers were arrested in his case.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE >>> Teen brothers arrested in murder of Oliver Citywide student shot outside school

Channel 11′s Nicole Ford talked to Marquis’s mother over the phone who said not much has changed in terms of safety upgrades if this is happening again. She’s sad her son’s death didn’t lead to change and now another mother has to bury her son.

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That loss impacted this whole school community.

“The trauma is too much, how do you live with it these are your kids. I’ve been out of the classroom 20 years ask me about my students they know their kids and they love their kids,” Esposito-Visgitis said.

But Esposito-Visgitis said the lack of support is pushing teachers out. At Oliver Citywide, in particular, there is no outlet for the students. She said there is no librarian and no music teacher as well as other openings.

“I looked forward to going to school, all students should look forward to going to school every day and teachers should look forward to teaching too,” Esposito-Visgitis said.

While the fallout of this latest shooting isn’t clear, she anticipates teachers will move schools or get out of the profession altogether. In the meantime, the union will work to support all who need it.

“It has to stop, it has to stop, we have to save our kids, our town, and our country,” Esposito-Visgitis said.

Every month the school district hosts public hearings and at the last one, a number of teachers spoke up about safety in schools relating to student behavior. On Wednesday morning, Esposito-Visgitis met with school leaders to talk about the issues so she said they are actively working on it.

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