Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
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Sept. 12, 2003

Blair senior dead after domestic dispute

by Elliott Wolf, Page Editor
Blair Senior Rokiatou Ba died on Friday, September 12 after a domestic dispute which took place the night before, according to a Montgomery County Police Department spokesperson.

Montgomery County Police from the third district responded to a call reporting domestic violence at 8:30 on Thursday night, according to MCPD spokesperson Lucille Baur. Rokiatou was found stabbed outside of her apartment on the 600 block of Sligo Avenue in Silver Spring and was transported to a hospital where she died of her injuries Friday morning.
Rokiatou's Senior Picture
Rokiatou's Senior Picture

According to a police press release, she had been arguing with her boyfriend over a potential break up. Police apprehended a suspect Thursday night near a Pizza Hut on 16th Street in Silver Spring after receiving a description of his vehicle.

Ibrahim Daff, the 19 year-old suspect from Philadelphia, was Rokiatou’s boyfriend. According to Assistant Principal Linda Wolf, “[He] was not nor has he ever been a student at Blair or in MCPS." He was charged with first-degree murder on Friday and is being held without bond at the Montgomery County Detention Center.

Baur did not know who originally called police or who was home at the time of the incident, but she does know that other people were in the vicinity.

In an announcement in both English and Rokiatou’s native French, the administration informed students of the loss at the beginning of sixth period on Friday.

Rokaitou was originally from the West African nation of Mali and was living in the United States with her aunt and uncle. She came to Blair at the end of last year. Her parents are still in Africa.

Friends and teachers were stunned by the news of her death. “She was a good student…her friends are really, really upset," said Wolf. School records list her as an honor roll student. “I have been upset and broken up all day. She had a lot of family and friends that go to this school," said Rokiatou’s first period teacher, Margarita Bohorquez.

“Two of her cousins went home today. They couldn’t stay," added Bohorquez.

The Counseling department is making efforts to help bereaved students. “We have psychologists here," said Counseling office secretary Andrea Gates. Two additional ESOL counselors who are fluent in French have also been brought in.

By the end of sixth period today, Blair students had created a makeshift memorial to Rokiatou in the hallway where many of the school’s ESOL classes are held. They taped a scroll of paper on the wall with a photograph Rokiatou mounted in the center and throughout the afternoon students and staff posted messages that expressed their grief and shock.

If students need additional help over the weekend, they are advised to call:
The Montgomery County Crisis Center – 301-215-4000
Silver Spring Youth Services Center – 301-593-1160
MCPS Hispanic/Latino Hotline – 301-230-3073

Additional reporting by Erica Hartmann and Ely Portillo

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  • HNC on September 12, 2003
    Rokiatou, even though I didn't know u I'm going to miss you. I give thanks to you for all the things you have done for the world. You will always be remembered in my heart. God bless you. R.I.P
  • glo on September 12, 2003
    I did not know her but any loss so close to where you live is trajic and has an effect on you. I give all my best wishes and prayers to her friends and family, so that they can get through this. Much luv. Keep your head up.
  • Nixes on September 12, 2003
    Like said previously, I did not know Rokiatou but believe something like this is a tragedy. Hate and violence always occurs in the world but we're also always too late to stop it. Think before you act and Goddess bless all of her friends and family, giving them strength through this tragic time. RIP.
  • KC Costanzo (View Email) on September 12, 2003
    We were asked on the memorial page why it took so long for Silver Chips Online to post a story about this tragedy. It seemed inappropriate to post the comment on a page dedicated to Rokiatou, so we decided to answer the question in this article. Binx, the Blair server that hosts Silver Chips, encountered some technical difficulties and was temporarily offline. As a result, SCO was briefly unavailable and the story could not be published. We apologize for the delay.
  • Lauren (View Email) on September 12, 2003
    My heart goes out to all the family and friends of Rokiatou Ba. While the pain will never go away, it will faid. While nothing will make this better, know that so many people are with you in your time of morning.
  • mas on September 12, 2003
    i didnt know rokiatou, but i was so shocked when i heard about her crossing the rainbow bridge. its awfully saddening to someone who didnt know her, so i have no idea what its like to her family. RIP.
  • Anarchist on September 13, 2003
    I do not purpose to demean Ms. Ba's death in any way, but I fail to understand the sentiment expressed by HNC. I never met Ms. Ba, and, unlike HNC, I am not going to "miss her". I believe that such wording is poorly chosen at best and at worst hollow and empty. I understand the sadness of Ms. Ba's friends and family, and believe that death is nearly always a tragedy, but do not see Ms. Ba's tragic fate as different in a substantial way from the many hundreds of children who die every day.
  • Thaolan Le (View Email) on September 13, 2003
    God has you but we won't forget
    I'm sad like i know you and we've already met
    I'll express this feeling, i feel sorrow
    But I hope it gets better tomorrow
  • Samantha Sanchez (View Email) on September 13, 2003
    I did not know Rokiatou but I can say she is in better hands now!God will help her family through this difficult time. I just can't imagine how her family feels but God bless them. R.I.P. Rokiatou
  • Thaolan Le (View Email) on September 13, 2003
    You were apart of us in every way
    when we heard you were dead
    we had nothing to say
    it rained when you died, rained for a while
    it rained when you died, and the tears will never dry.
  • Sparky the Happy Giraffe on September 13, 2003
    Dust to dust, ashes to ashes. Rokiatous death reminds us how fragile life really is.
  • Kevin on September 14, 2003
    May God bless all her family and friends during this time of loss. Our prayers are with you.
  • ar sophmore on September 14, 2003
    We'd like to think that murder and domestic violence exist in a vacuum, and that tragic and heinous events such as these simply don't happen in real life. Well, they do. Joe isn't just some character in a Jimmy Hendrix song.
  • A parent (View Email) on September 14, 2003
    Maybe if we all knew her this would not have happened the way it did....
  • yanet (View Email) on September 15, 2003
    god blesss her soul she was my friend just like my sister i still love her always
  • Constance Teage (View Email) on September 15, 2003
    I am very sorry to here about this tragic loss I am a graduate of the 2003 class of Mbhs, my sympathy goes out to Rokiatous family and her extended blazer family. May God comfort your hearts.
    Love always
    Constance Teage
    class of 2003
  • situationistachica (View Email) on September 15, 2003
    to the "anarchist"--any death is worth mourning. it is one of the basic principles of anarchism that the individual is a precious entity, a value that authoritarianism undermines.

    you make true anarchists look bad.

    we don't like you.

    <3 rest in piece sister...patriarchy kills.
  • Emeka on September 16, 2003
    The death of this young student is a shock to many people. Even ones who did not know her. It is a shame she had to end her life at such an early age. Right when she was just beginning it. Anyone can die anyday so no one should take life for granted. To everyone, be careful of how you treat people and try to be as kind as you can.
    Rest in Peace Rokiatou
  • udontneedtoknow on September 16, 2003
    My heart goes out to her family. People especially police should take domestic violence mor seriously because its no joke.
  • Mr. Benefiel (View Email) on September 16, 2003
    Does Blair High School do enough to teach students how to control violent impulses, anger, and domestic violence? Do we need to speak to young men, in particular, about how their passions and romantic desires fit into a society in which women have rights, dignity, and a spirit of independence--as students, members of the community, and human beings? Why did the alleged perpetrator respond with such violence to rejection?
  • t.greene on September 16, 2003
    Even though i did not know you i feel the pain many are going through i pray for the family and friends that knew you. Now heaven has another angel .we will always remember you.R.I.P!
  • Tu Dang (View Email) on September 17, 2003
    I didn't know Rokiatou.. but I feel the pain that her love ones are going through right now. I am extremly sorry to hear such tragic happen to a girl that work so hard to get this far in High School and is about to graduate. Why did God have to take her with him so soon?, But I know, the lord have another angel up in heaven. R.I.P. Rokiatou.
  • lilcutie07 on September 17, 2003
    I'm really sad that she died just over some little break up, who cares! There is no reason to kill someone over a breakup everyone breaks up. Get over it don't kill somebody.I'll be prayin for her family.
  • genuinepal on September 18, 2003
  • Student on September 22, 2003
    I have seen many horrible things including a homeless man clubbed to death, a child fall from a roof to his death, and a woman burned alive, but the knowledge that so mundane a thing as romance could take so innocent a life infuses within my heart a saddness and terror tenfold stronger than any I have ever felt before. Now is a time of mourning, a time of sorrow, and a time of remembrance.

    Rest In Peace Rokaitou Ba.

    Farewell to you. May God supernal
    Spread wide his doors to welcome you
    May you find in his arms eternal
    Your life anew.
  • Melissa T06 (View Email) on September 23, 2003
    when i found out about her death i was thinking "who is that", and i thought she had some sort of illness so i was leik whatever.but teh next school day i find out she rode my bus and i was in shock and i found out by my goof friend taht she was killed my her boy friend i was liek really upset after that.then i saw the newspaper article and i was just really upset i was thinking how coudl n e one doio this to n e one especially over somthing stupid like a break up. after i read teh article i thought man this girl seemed really cool i with i new her more ,i actually thought seh was in teh same grade as me because she looked so young but she was a senior,and not that this is inportant but she had the nicest cloths ever. im am still very mad about this because n e one who woudl kill someone over somthing stupid at a break up there is somthing not right in that persons head.i feel so lucky not adays that im alive n i can see my family and friends everyday (GOD BLESS ROKIATOU AND HER ENTIRE FAMILY FOR HERE LOSS)
  • FRESI B. (View Email) on September 23, 2003
    i feel terribly sad to Know of this tragedy and to think that the murder happened right across the street from where i live scares me. I feel so sad and sorry for her parents who had to hear that their daughther in the US was killed. my neighbors were her cousins and they are really outraged by the tragedy. May god be with her soul.
  • Felicia O. (View Email) on September 24, 2003
    I never thought about it because when they said this announcement I didn't realize that this announcemnet was very important to most of the people in Blair. Also she died without her biological parents being here, only her aunt and uncle. This is a sad scene and I pray that her family and friends shouldn't have too much grief but live with joy that they will also be with her, Rokiatou Ba.
  • WHAT THA! on September 25, 2003
    god domestic violence is dumb... cant people controll their anger, or at least to the extent that they dont kill someone. for christ sake people. oh and my deepest regards to her family.
  • Felisia seng on September 26, 2003
    l am a 9th grader and l feel so bad but l am so sorry maygod bless you and your whole family and

  • no need for a name on October 1, 2003
    i do not agree with Anarchist's opinion, if u were her friend or if u were related to her im sure u would be just as sympothetic as everyone else, yes many kids die everyday, but she was a more than just a #. many students knew her personally and they are simply stating thier caring or moarning for her.
  • Ludovic on October 2, 2003
    Hello guys!

    Rokiatou was my classmte in my Esol class we were friends. She always helps us to some works. I made a deal that we'll speak English in class because we both speak English.
    I don't know what happenned to her. But I wish that her SOUL GO TO HEAVEN. We always still friend. Que ton Ame pas en Paix.
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