The families in east St. Paul are a wide mix of incomes and backgrounds. Johnson Elementary is a beautifully remodeled old school, with cheery hallways and new playgrounds.
But the principal says there have been four gunshot incidents in recent weeks, including one at a home visible from the school's front door. The violence makes him worried about the very un-childlike thoughts and anxieties kids might bring to the classroom.
MPR's Jeff Horwich got a dozen fifth and sixth graders together to talk about how crime hits home for them.