OAKLAND _ The morning after a drive-by attack outside McClymonds High School that injured three teenagers, staff gathered the students in the high school auditorium.

Instead of talking about the Tuesday night shooting, McClymonds staff encouraged the students to reject the violence that pervades their community, said Yetunde Reeves, principal of EXCEL, a small high school on the McClymonds campus in West Oakland.

``This is, for some kids, normal,'' Reeves said. ``It's, ~`Someone got shot, and thank God they're alive.'''

The victims have been discharged from the hospital, Reeves said.

The shooting happened around 9 p.m., after a basketball game against Grant High School of Sacramento. Police said one of the victims was 14 and the other two were 16. The 14-year-old attends EXCEL. One of the 16-year-olds attends BEST, which is also at McClymonds, and the other is a student at Oakland Technical High School in North Oakland.

The BEST student is a member of McClymonds Junior Varsity basketball team.

After the game, a group of students had reached the 2800 block of Filbert Street behind the high school when a vehicle drove by and someone inside started shooting, witnesses said. The 14-year-old Oakland boy was shot in the thigh; the other two had less severe injuries, police said. All were taken to local hospitals.

On Wednesday afternoon, police said they were unsure if the three boys shot were the intended targets.


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Reeves said she had left the game right before it happened, and that it was particularly stressful for those who had witnessed the shooting. ``Even though violence is normal, this is their safe haven,'' she said.

Reeves said the incident has reminded staff of the importance of their work. The two small high schools opened in 2005 with the goal of graduating all students and sending them to college.

While it might be tempting to key in on the details of what happened Tuesday night, she said, it is more important to focus on what can be done to change the lives of the students, and the quality of life in the low-income, predominately African-American community.

``It just deepens the work,'' she said.

Contact Katy Murphy at kmurphy@oaklandtribune.com or 510-208-6424. Read her Oakland schools blog at www.ibabuzz.com/education