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Brenda Ann


 (born April 3, 1962)



The story of  ”I don’t like Mondays"

Listen to the song


A convicted American murderer who carried out a shooting spree at Cleveland Elementary School in San Diego, California on January 29, 1979. Principal Burton Wragg and head custodian Mike Suchar were killed in the attack, while eight children and a police officer sustained wounds. One of the children, who was hit in the hand, talked about the incident on a local radio station.

The school was across the street from Spencer's house, from which she fired the shots. She used a rifle that she had recently been given for Christmas 1978 by her father. When asked why she went on her rampage, she shrugged and replied, "I don't like Mondays. This livens up the day."[1] She also said, "I had no reason for it, and it was just a lot of fun"; "It was just like shooting ducks in a pond"' and "[The children] looked like a herd of cows standing around; it was really easy pickings." At the time of the shootings, Brenda Ann Spencer was 16 years old.[2]

She pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon, and was sentenced to prison for 25 years to life, currently being served at The California Institution for Women in Chino.[1] She has been eligible for parole four times and has been turned down each time, most recently in 2005. She will be eligible for parole again on August 13th, 2009.[1] (See text below)

In 2005, she claimed that she was drunk and under the influence of PCP, and that her father, Wallace Spencer, had sexually abused her as a child and that the state and her attorney conspired to hide her drug test results.

Spencer's crime, her perceived lack of remorse, and lack of a serious explanation for her actions when she was captured, inspired the song "I Don't Like Mondays" by the Irish band The Boomtown Rats, written by Bob Geldof.

Her quote, "I Don't Like Mondays," also appears written on a wall in the 1985 movie The Breakfast Club.



Parole hearing August 13th. 2009


Posted: Aug 14, 2009 3:05 AM Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:05 PM EST Updated: Aug 14, 2009 3:05 AM Thursday, August 13, 2009 9:05 PM EST

A state parole board today denied a fourth bid for freedom by a woman who was 16 when she killed two people and wounded nine others during a shooting spree at a San Carlos elementary school in 1979. The announcement that the board had denied parole for Brenda Spencer was made by the San Diego County District Attorney's Office. Brenda Spencer, now 47, was previously denied parole in 1993, 2001 and 2005, and will not be eligible to try again for 10 years. Spencer killed a principal and a custodian and wounded eight students and an officer when she opened fire with a .22-caliber rifle on Grover Cleveland Elementary, across the street from her home. Spencer, who was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison in 1980, told a reporter back then that she fired three dozen shots at the school because she "didn't like Mondays." She added that shooting "livens up the day."She later told prison officials she felt unwanted at the time of the shootings and was jealous of the other youths who had someone to protect them.    Source:

A blog about Brenda Ann Spencer in the news, from then until today


     Geldof wrote the song after reading a telex report at Georgia State University's campus radio station, WRAS, on the shooting spree of 16-year-old Brenda Ann Spencer, who fired at children playing in a school playground across the street from her home in San Diego, California. She killed two adults and injured eight children and one police officer. Spencer showed no remorse for her crime, and her full explanation for her actions was "I don't like Mondays, this livens up the day."[1] The song was first performed less than a month later at the Fox Theatre, San Diego.[2] Geldof explained how he wrote the song:

"I was doing a radio interview in Atlanta with Fingers and there was a telex machine beside me. I read it as it came out. Not liking Mondays as a reason for doing somebody in is a bit strange. I was thinking about it on the way back to the hotel, and I just said 'Silicone chip inside her head had switched to overload'. I wrote that down. And the journalists interviewing her said, 'Tell me why?' It was such a senseless act. It was the perfect senseless act and this was the perfect senseless reason for doing it. So perhaps I wrote the perfect senseless song to illustrate it. It wasn't an attempt to exploit tragedy.


Statistics on American School Shootings

School shootings since 1996      
Date City, State Location Number Killed
      Number killed does not include the shooter if killed
Dec 14, 2012 Newtown, CT Sandy Hook Elemntary School 26
April 2, 2012 Oakland, CA Christian School 7
Mar 6, 2012 Jacksonville, FL Episcopal High School 1
Feb 27, 2012 Chardon, OH Chardon High School 3
Dec 8, 2011 Blacksburg, VA Virginia Tech Parking Lot 1
May 10, 2011 San Jose, CA San Jose State University 2
Jan 5, 2011 Houston, TX Worthing High School 1
Jan 5, 2011 Omaha, NE Millard South High School 2
Mar 9, 2010 Columbus, OH Ohio State University 2
Feb 12, 2010 Huntsville, AL College Campus 3
Feb 5, 2010 Madison, AL Discovery Middle School 1
Nov 12, 2008 Fort Lauderdale, FL Dillard High School 1
Feb 14, 2008 DeKalb, IL Nothern Illinois University 5
Feb 8, 2008 Baton Rouge, LA Louisiana Tech College 2
Apr 16, 2007 Blacksburg, VA Virginia Tech 32
Oct 3, 2006 Nickel Mines, PA West Nickel Amish School 5
Sept 29, 2006 Cazenovia, WI Weston School 1
Sept 27, 2006 Bailey, CO Platte Canyon High School 1
Aug 24, 2006 Essex, VT Essex Elementary School 2
Nov 8, 2005 Jacksboro, TN Campbell County High School 1
Mar 21, 2005 Red Lake, MN Home/School 9
Sept 24, 2003 Cold Spring, MN Rocori High School 2
April 24, 2003 Red Lion, PA Red Lion Junior High 1
April 14, 2003 New Orleans, LA John McDonogh High School 1
Oct 28, 2002 Tucson, AZ University of Arizona 3
Mar 30, 2001 Gary, IN Lew Wallace High School 1
Mar 5, 2001 Santee, CA Santana High School 2
Jan 17, 2001 Baltimore, MD Lak Clifton Eastern High School 1
May 26, 2000 Lake Worth, FL Lake Worth Middle School 1
Mar 10, 2000 Savannah, GA Beach High School 2
Feb 29, 2000 Mount Morris, MI Buell Elementary School 1
Nov 19, 1999 Deming, NM Deming Middle School 1
April 20, 1999 Littleton, CO Columbine High School 13
May 21, 1998 Springfield, OR Thurston High School 4
May 19, 1998 Fayetteville, TN Lincoln County High School 1
Apr 24, 1998 Edinboro, PA James W. Parker Middle School 1
Mar 24, 1998 Jonesboro, AR Westside Middle School 5
Dec 1, 1997 West Paducah, KY Heath High School 3
Oct 1, 1997 Pearl, MS School 2
Feb 19, 1997 Bethel, AK School 2
Feb 2, 1996 Moses Lake, WA School 3


Short newsclip on the incident


 The song on youtube


Dansk artikkel om børn og våben (Jyllands Posten) Klik her


The school shooting on Columbine High Click here


Groupwork on Columbine high:


Exercice for group 1 + 4

Exercice for group 2 + 5

Exercice for group 3 + 6





Susan Klebold about her son's shooting on Columbine High  Click here for PDF


Questions for the text, in a word document. Click here



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