City of Stockton Children's Museum (Photo: Tim Daly/News10)
STOCKTON - A children's museum created after a 1989 shooting at Cleveland Elementary School in Stockton still draws strong support from the community.
It was Janet Geng, a teacher and the one adult hurt in that attack, who pushed for a museum in response to the violence. Although Geng passed away several years ago, the museum continues to thrive.
"I think it's important because it's for the children. Second, it's a community effort and third, it's a symbol of hope," said museum board president Diane Batres.
Batres worked the San Joaquin County District Attorney's Office in 1989 and responded to Cleveland to assist with victim and witness recovery. She became a national expert in that area, and traveled to various scenes of tragedy to offer advice.
"What changed was our innocence. The second thing is, we all prepare for and respond differently to disasters," she said.
At the entrance to the museum is a plaque with the pictures of the five children who died 25 years ago when the schoolyard was sprayed with more than a hundred rounds. The gunman, 24-year-old Patrick Purdy, killed himself at the scene.
by Tim Daly, TDaly@news10.net