CHAMBLEE, Ga. — A DeKalb teacher is raising thousands of dollars for one of her students and his siblings. The children lost both of their parents in a domestic violence situation in Chamblee last week.
Second-grader teacher Alexia Gosier said she wants to do what she can to support the children.
"I really genuinely love my students, so I’m just thinking of all the possible outcomes because a situation like this does change the trajectory of a child’s life," Gosier said.
The 7-year-old boy and his two older sisters lost their mom and dad one week ago when domestic violence call early Wednesday morning escalated to gunfire involving a Chamblee Police officer, the department said.
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation was requested by the Chamblee Police Department to investigate after the incident happened around 6:30 a.m. at the Chamblee Heights Apartments at 136 Wiggins Way, Chamblee, GA.
When officers arrived, they encountered 40-year-old Irlin Paz attacking a woman with a knife. The GBI said officers immediately tried to intervene in order to stop the attack and at least one officer shot at Paz, striking him.
Both Paz and the woman died at the scene, the GBI said. Gosier says her second-grader and his siblings witnessed it all.
"I don’t want the problem to be money because that’s something they can’t control, they’re not old enough to work. I just didn’t want another problem on top of the problems they already face," she said.
Last year, Gosier was teaching virtually. Now that they're back in person, she has stressed the importance of building a strong foundation and relationship with her students.
She found out about the incident through another student of hers and immediately looked online for confirmation.
"Finding a news article to confirm that it was the family and then just being devastated basically. I just broke down. To be completely honest, for three hours I was just in tears," she said.
When the boy, who Alexia says is originally from Guatemala, didn't show up to school that day, it further confirmed her concern.
She said the boy's mother, who was stabbed, was pregnant and due next month.
"The last five days it was really tough – I went home early one day to get my mind together. That’s the part of teaching college does not prepare you for. You can never prepare yourself for something like this," she added.
That's why the 25-year-old teacher set up a fundraiser to help her student and his sisters. She plans on giving the money directly to the children.
"The initial goal was $1,500. I met the goal in two hours. If you can't make financial contributions, please send prayers," she said.
Gosier said her student, as of September 29, has not returned to school. However, she said she has seen him since the incident and calls to check in on him often.
"He was really happy to talk to me, to see me. He’s a kid – kids don’t process things as early, or like we do, but later on in life I know it’ll be a different situation. It was good to talk to him, to hear from him and him not be in a detrimental state," she said.
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