Students at Montera Middle School in Oakland said the school's eighth-grade class was full of "drama" earlier this year. There had been a fight between two girls, and the conflict had broadened to the girls' friends. Some students "were coming to school in sweats, ready to fight," recalled Yari Ojeda-Sandel, a staffer at Montera who coordinates the school's new conflict-resolution program known as restorative justice.
A year ago, KALW’s Ali Budner met Sharena Thomas and her friend Lesley Phillips, two women from East Oakland who say the 911 emergency response system in their neighborhood is broken.
In trying to find a possible solution, they co-founded group called The People’s Community Medics. Its goal is to train citizens in basic first aid so they can help people as they wait for emergency responders.