I Don't Like Mondays
The Fine Art of Surfacing
Sung by: Boomtown Rats
Written by: Bob Geldof

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody's gonna go to school today
She's going to make them stay at home

And daddy doesn't understand it
He always said she was as good as gold
And he can see no reason
Cos there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown

Tell me why
I don't like Mondays
I want to shoot
The whole day down

The telex machine is kept so clean
As it types to a waiting world
And mother feels so shocked
Father's world is rocked
And their thoughts turn to
Their own little girl

Sweet 16 ain't that peachy keen
No, it ain't so neat to admit defeat
They can see no reasons
Cos there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown

Tell me why
I don't like Mondays
I want to shoot
The whole day down

All the playings stopped in the playground now
She wants to play with her toys a while
And school's out early and soon we'll be learning
And the lesson today is how to die

And then the bullhorn crackles
And the captain crackles
With the problems and the how's and why's
And he can see no reasons
Cos there are no reasons
What reason do you need to die

The silicon chip inside her head
Gets switched to overload
And nobody's gonna go to school today
She's going to make them stay at home

And daddy doesn't understand it
He always said she was as good as gold
And he can see no reason
Cos there are no reasons
What reason do you need to be shown

Tell me why
I don't like Mondays
I want to shoot
The whole day down

( Columbia, 1979 )
 

It Was Monday
Monday, Feb. 12, 1979

The explanation was incredibly casual. "I don't like Mondays," Brenda Spencer, 16, told reporters by telephone as she held off San Diego police for six hours. But who was she trying to kill as she repeatedly fired a .22-cal. rifle at Cleveland Elementary School from her home across the street? "No one in particular. I kind of like the red and blue jackets."

While Brenda chatted on the telephone, the terrified pupils and teachers huddled on the floor of the bullet-sprayed school. Principal Burton Wragg and Custodian Michael Suchar were both slain by the gunfire at the school's front yard. Eight children and one police officer were wounded. After hours of futile attempts to get Brenda to surrender, she finally decided it was time to end what she had called "fun." She calmly walked out of the house, put her gun on the ground, went back inside and returned to hand rushing officers some 150 rounds of ammunition.

Next day teachers at the school encouraged their students to talk about the tragedy as a way to relieve their tensions over the traumatic event. "Why did she do it?" asked an eight-year-old boy. Unfortunately, no one in authority could answer that question.

TIME Magazine Archive 1923 to the Present Copyright 2005 Time Inc. All rights reserved.
 
 

8th graders visual interpretation of Boomtown Rat's "I Don't Like Mondays"
 

Stockton tragedy brings back horror to
school people who recall S.D. sniper
 By Jim Okerblom January 19, 1989

Daryl Barnes heard the name Cleveland Elementary, the Stockton school where a group of children were gunned down, and the words jarred his mind. Ten years ago this month, Barnes was in a San Diego schoolyard picking up wounded children as a sniper fired rounds at him. The name of the school: Cleveland Elementary. "When I heard it on TV, I could hardly believe it," said Barnes, now a sixth-grade teacher at Foster Elementary School.

Gaetana Patton has these words of advice for families of children who survived the Stockton massacre: "Get through it as quickly as possible" and don't avoid talking about it. Patton, a speech therapist with the San Diego Unified School District, also knows firsthand the horror of bullets fired at schools. She was in a classroom at Cleveland Elementary in San Carlos on Jan. 29, 1979, when the sniper, a skinny 16-year-old named Brenda Spencer, opened fire with a .22-caliber rifle from her home across the street. Patton dragged a wounded 9-year-old girl through the bullet-scarred door of her classroom during Spencer's six-hour siege.

Patty Satin-Jacobs, social service administrator with the county, has also been engrossed in news accounts of the Stockton massacre. "I became wrapped up in what was going on," she said. "I started dreaming about (the Spencer shootings)." Satin-Jacobs' husband, Jake, dropped their son Scott off in front of Cleveland Elementary 10 years ago, and drove away not knowing anything was wrong. Their son wasn't hit, but he saw schoolmates fall to Spencer's bullets and saw Principal Burton Wragg lying fatally wounded on the sidewalk.

Spencer, serving a sentence of 25 years to life at the California Institution for Women in Frontera, killed Wragg and school custodian Mike Suchar. Eight children and a police officer were wounded. Her explanation to a reporter, "I just don't like Mondays," became the title of a song by the Boomtown Rats, an Irish rock group. The school closed in 1983 because of declining enrollment, but the tragedy there forged close ties among the staff. "That still exists," said Patton. "We still get together socially."

The adults who witnessed Spencer's rampage all say that the Stockton tragedy will be harder on that school and that community because five children died. They praised the Stockton district's decision to reopen the school yesterday and to make counselors available. The San Diego district did the same thing, and it allowed the children to come to grips with what happened and to get over it quickly. "Otherwise, you hold those fears in and it gets worse," said Barnes, who was named acting principal after the shootings here.

Satin-Jacobs said her son, now a freshman at Berkeley, suffered no long-term ill effects from Spencer's attack, but listed it as a major formative event in his life on a college-entrance essay. She and her husband had a harder time. Satin-Jacobs became alarmed in the weeks after the shootings, when her son had violent daydreams, like one in which he was Superman using his cape to deflect bullets back into Spencer's brain. A counselor assured her it was a normal reaction for an 8-year-old. For years she could not stop crying on the anniversary, and to this day her husband cannot stand the sound of helicopters.

"It really shatters your illusions of security and safety when something like this happens," she said. "It affects every area of your life."

Copyright 2001 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
 
 


 

Survivors Remember '79 Cleveland Elementary Shooting

Brenda Spencer Killed Two In San Carlos

Two survivors of a 1979 school shooting in San Diego County spoke of the difficult healing process with 10News reporter Leonard Villarreal Tuesday.

Brothers Jeff and Kevin Karpiak were students at Cleveland Elementary School in San Carlos when 16-year-old Brenda Spencer opened fire on the school with a .22 rifle on Monday, January 29, 1979. Spencer fired the shots from inside her home across the street, wounding nine and killing two. At Cleveland Elementary the two fatalities were the school's principal and the head custodian. Police surrounded Spencer's home and the siege lasted for seven hours. When asked a motive, Spencer (pictured, right) told a reporter who called the home, "I don't like Mondays."

For the Karpiaks, it was a day that would change their lives forever. "I remember it like it happened yesterday - I remember my principal and my custodian being shot in front of my eyes," Jeff Karpiak said. The brothers wanted the students at Santana High School to know that time would help heal the emotional wounds.

"Over time they will definitely feel better. I guess it is just something you get used to. Evil can be outdone by the good in the world," Kevin Karpiak said. Brenda Spencer is currently serving a sentence of 25 years to life in prison. She is scheduled for a parole hearing next month.

Copyright 2002 by TheSanDiegoChannel.com All rights reserved.
 
 

Monday's killer is up for parole
March 15, 2005

Brenda Spencer is about to come up for parole again. She was the 16-year-old San Diego girl who didn't like Mondays - and her name lives in infamy because of it.

It's been 26 years since the teen barricaded herself in her San Carlos home across from Grover Cleveland Elementary School and, with a rifle, shot one person after another.When the gunfire ended, the school's principal and custodian were dead and eight students, ages 6 to 12, and a police officer were wounded.
Spencer, now 42, was sentenced to 25 years to life. Her last bid for parole was denied, and a new hearing is expected next month or in early May.

Although she has been described as a model prisoner, San Diego Deputy District Attorney Richard Sachs says he'll continue to "vigorously oppose" Spencer's release. Sachs still thinks she has some emotional issues, based on past behavior in prison. Even "four years of perfect behavior will not change our minds because of the heinousness of the crime," says Sachs.

The San Diego Union-Tribune Copyright 2005 Union-Tribune Publishing Co.
 
 

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