A few weeks ago, the Chicago Tribune’s Stephanie Banchero tracked down just how many Chicago public school kids had died during the first half of the year -- 34 and counting -- a statistic that generated a lot of discussion not only because it seemed so high but also because most if not all of violence happened off campus. Since then, the statistic has been used by the school system to argue for more education funding, and, most recently, by political candidates like Barack Obama to make the case for paying more attention to the plight of the urban poor: Obama Bemoans ‘Epidemic of Violence’ (Forbes). “Nearly three dozen Chicago students have been killed this year, according to Chicago Public Schools. Obama said that figure is higher than the number of Illinois serviceman who’ve died in Iraq in 2007.”
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