Marshall Elementary was not Betty Legendre’s first choice for her 5-year-old son. It was not even her second or third. Still, she was relieved when she heard he had a seat at the Dorchester school. After all, a year earlier, he had been assigned no school at all.
But it did not take long for her relief to turn to worry.
Legendre, an unemployed 43-year-old who moved to Mattapan from Atlanta last summer, knows few people in Boston and little about the schools. So she was stunned when other mothers at her son Jeffrey’s Head Start program told her about a fatal midday shooting near the Marshall school two years ago and advised her not to send her son there.
The school she had uncritically accepted for her son was considered unacceptable by other Boston parents. And as far as she knew, he was stuck with it.
“I don’t want him to go there,” Legendre told a reporter, her voice pained, after her conversation with the other parents. Hers is one of 13 families the Globe is following through the school lottery process this year.
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