School Climate & Safety

Students Want Out of Chicago High School

By Dakarai I. Aarons — November 17, 2009 1 min read
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A federal judge told Chicago Public Schools it must move quickly on allowing students to transfer out of a high school made infamous this fall by the death of one of its students. A group of students had sued the district last week, saying it was denying their right to education by not allowing them to transfer, the Chicago Tribune reports.

At least 100 students have transferred from Christian Fenger Academy High School since the September beating death of student Derrion Albert a few blocks from the school. The fight leading to Derrion’s death was videotaped and broadcast across the country, bringing attention to youth violence. U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder traveled to the Windy City last month to meet with students at Fenger and encourage a national dialogue about youth violence.

The district has offered three options to students who want to leave Fenger, but parents and community activists want a school turned into a military academy to re-open as a neighborhood school. Fighting between two rival neighborhoods at Fenger sparked the fight that killed Derrion.

Four Chicago teens have been charged with first-degree murder in Derrion’s death, three in regular court and another as a juvenile.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.