School Climate & Safety

Chicago Wrestles Anew With Youth Violence

By Catherine Gewertz — October 05, 2009 1 min read

Chicago is reeling yet again from beatings and killings of teenagers.

Saturday was the funeral for 16-year-old honors student Derrion Albert, who was kicked and beaten to death as he walked home from school on Sept. 24. (See coverage of the funeral here, here and here.) Just last week, a 14-year-old student was chased and beaten, sustaining critical injuries.

The latest tragedies have sparked agony and reflection nationwide, particuarly in in black communities, according to the Chicago Tribune, and have drawn high-level calls for solidarity and solutions. The Rev. Jesse Jackson and Minister Louis Farrakhan appeared at Saturday’s funeral, along with Chicago schools CEO Ron Huberman and the city’s police superintendent, Jody Weis. U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder are headed to the Windy City this week to facilitate conversation about solutions to the violence crisis.

Last month, Huberman revealed a haunting new probability model that aims $30 million worth of special supports at the 1,200 students who are identified as being most likely to be shot.

If there is any creepier indicator of the magnitude of this problem, please tell me what it is.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the High School Connections blog.