Death on an Impulse – Barry Grunow

It  was the last day of school (May 26, 2000) and English Teacher Barry Grunow was looking to his summer. There was excitement in the air, yearbooks were being signed, and everyone at Lake Worth Middle School in West Palm Beach, Florida was happy that they had just completed another school year. Barry saw one of the students of the school trying to enter his room in an effort to speak with some of his friends. When Barry


refused the 13 year-old access, a gun was pointed in Barry’s direction.  There was a loud crack and Barry sank to the floor.

The 13 year-old had been caught throwing water balloons in the school lunchroom and was suspended from school. The young man was, in all accounts a good student, with perfect attendance, no serious discipline problems and part of the school band. During his trial he had even said that Mr. Grunow was his favorite teacher and claimed it was all an unfortunate accident.

What is known is that Barry would never return home to his wife and two children.

To help honor Barry Grunow



3 thoughts on “Death on an Impulse – Barry Grunow

  1. I work in Mr. Grunow’s old classroom at LWMS. Although I never knew him, I work with several of his old colleagues. Every year, as new students learn from older students the “facts” about what happened the day he was killed, I find myself engaged in a very sober conversation with my students about the need to keep things in perspective, understand that our actions have consequences, etc, etc.

    I wish I could say that we are safer in my room than we might have been twenty years ago. Alas…

    RIP Barry…

    • I also taught in Barry’s classroom 2003-2013. Those are big shoes to fill. Lwms is tough but still one of the most rewarding places I have worked. Good luck to you!

  2. As long as I live I will never forget this day. Mr. Grunow saw something in me when no one else did. That day will be forever burned in my brain. I was there now I’m 35 years old and I still think about him.

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