Helpless Mayor Blames School Violence On Parents, Feds (Again)

Some days, Mayor Daley is all-powerful, and it's all about performance and accountability.  Other days, when things aren't going so well, he plays helpless and whines about families, the feds, or anything else that he can think of. Friday was one of the latter kinds of days.

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Friday's Gayle King show on Oprah Radio featured Anjanette
Albert (Derrion's mom), who described her son's miserable experience at
Fenger, the strain of not really knowing exactly what had happened to
her son until the next day, the pain of having to go identify his body,
and not being able to get back home.  (Audio here.)

Then Mayor Daley came on and blamed everything on family problems, privacy laws, and...well, anyone but himself
There is no violence problem...or if there is it's not his fault.  It was an amazing performance.  Completely self-serving and convenient,
full of false indignation and distractions.  You'd think he wasn't

Gayle read a letter from a CPS teacher (good job!) that says "Fenger is just a microcosm
of what occurs every day in some CPS schools and in schools
nation-wide. Reform after reform has yet to provide many of our
children with some education foundation that is badly needed."

response was to defend the principal of Fenger
and assert that there was no real violence problem in the schools.
Which would be an appropriate defense if it were true and if Daley
weren't in charge of the schools AND the streets.And would be more believable if there hadn't just been a violence summit.


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  • Daley is not helpless, he is hapless. The emporer has no cloths and none of his staff will tell him he is running around naked. That is 1 reason why he is to be blamed for this mess. just his defense of the 'turnaround' shows his ignorance. All of this turnaround--it the SAME thing that the old office of accountability did over 14 years ago--yes, the same thing and it ALL failed. the only person there who knows this BEW-and others who they are not interested in hearing from and they should read the individual accountability reports-they are still there y'all. If they bothered to read these expensive reports (years of them) and talk to some of the honest people left who wrote them and actually put it in writing and spoke up, they would see that they are only repeating what did not work over and over for more than 10 years. What a waste of time, money and life.

  • OMG-Daley says here on radio that the Fenger principal has been doing a great jon for 2-3 years! Dear mayor: Dr. Don Frynd got rid of the successful AA male principal there who had been making progress at Fenger. He just brought in one of his lady disciples a la Harper, to Fenger when he kicked the successful principal out--even after Dr. Frynd said he would keep him there. What a mess mayor--you don't even know this!

  • Gayle King's interview with Anjanette Albert (Derrion's mom) was really overwhelming. I would have never listened to it if Alexander had hot linked it to the blog. I don't know if to thank him or not for linking it because it was very upsetting to listen to. Overall I guess it was better to have heard it.

    Really what the interview reveals in very a very stark way is how really desperately poor Derrion was and how he was very much raising himself. While it is unclear why Derrion's mother was living in southern Illinois with his 11 year old sister, from the discussion it appeared in his mother simply could not support him. She admitted that she did not even have the money to pay her bills in Mount Veron and that she was currently stuck homeless back in Chicago.

    Derrion's mother admitted she had no idea why he was at the sight of the fight or really if any of the students he was in anyway associated with were also targets of the violence. She simply did not know much about the day to day life of her son who was living four hours away from her. The last time she had talked to him was the weekend before he was killed and she was trying to gather $70 to get him a new coat because his locker had been robbed at Fenger.

    This interview I think also hits at the heart of the problem of the entire anti-violence discussion whether it be by the Mayor or Mr. Huberman. The fundamental issue of poverty is not discussed at all, Anjanette Albert is such a poor person that she is living in rural Illinois without a car and had to take a bus back to Chicago to identify her dead son, who she still did not know had been killed when she left on the bus for Chicago. What the interview reveals is what no one wants to talk much about and that is the intersection of poverty, violence, problem schools, and some very disturbed youth.

    Rod Estvan

  • I feel for this parent, but this must be asked:
    Why did mom not take her child with her to Mt. Vernon, IL to live with her, daughter and grandmother there?
    How long had mom been in Mt. Vernon, better than going to Fenger no? (mom states that he was prayed upon there for a while.)
    Why could not the grandfather he lived with go to identify his body, rather than putting this on mom-who is 4 hours away by bus and has no transportation?
    The 11 year old should be in school here in Chicago--who helps a homeless family for school when they do not know where to go when they are homeless? Daley or Frymd or Ron does not think to get a social worker on this? Where is his father and/or his father's family?
    No money, but he had a cell phone that had to be paid for-vs. food on the table?
    Have you seen Good Hair? Points out how some mothers spend the big money on their hair OVER putting food on the table. or look for a man to pay for their hair over looking for a good father.
    Yes, what stated here will outrage some, but it is time to speak the truth. I have worked in the AA community for over 20 years and watched as our governement and city school system keeps families in poverty with welfare vs. workfare, leaving them unskilled and broken. And how middle class blacks want nothing to do with lower class blacks. How we encourage fathers NOT to be part of the family when mothers who need section 8 housing, recesion now as an excuse, okay--but people like Daley and daddy stoger threw the $ we had during the good times away-and $72 million on failed Olympics and over $400 on millenium park and more on TIFs. or encourage those who illegally work here and give them jobs over AA families that have been citzens since slavery--keeping them unemployed. When will we rise up angry--oh, it's okay if the poor and black/hispanic kill each other....

  • Did the mother turn over temporary guardianship to the grandfather before she left her son with him?

  • well then, did granfather claim homeless for his grandson...
    do you see all the poverty problems we visit upon the schools? any neighborhood school (except in places like edison park and mt. greenwood) is overwhelmed by the poverty, lack of parents and shameful learning problems (using book pages as toilet peper) these children bring with them everyday. We get them fed and toilet trained and clothed and school-supplied and some schools do their laundry--these are all the neighborhood school's responsibility now--NOT a parent's responsibility, not the city's responsibility--heck, chicago makes our schools pay for garbage pick-up now and security and trying to have class sizes less than 34 students per classroom, etc. And Ron hig salary nd all his CTA buddies high salaries and all the CAOs got an $11,000 raise, except the former budget guy--he's a Cao but got to keep the $22,000 extra he makes per year. But the teachers get a raise, god forbid those terrible and selfish teachers. Oh, I forgot, CPS gives teachers $100 to spend on our classrooms per year, thanks Mayor Daley, thank you sir.

  • In the interview with Gayle King, Daley stated, "make it more of a community school". How do you do that King Richie when you have virtually destroyed the community school?

  • Bloody days increase in Chicago's general high schools. The spike in violence at Harlan, Fenger, Kennedy, Hyde Park and other South Side high schools resulted from the closing of Calumet.

    No this not the headlines from today but December 2006, three years ago the Chicago Public School were put on notice of the increasing violence in and around schools. They were and are negligent in their duty to protect children form harm. The worst part of this whole situation is that the school district is not only negligent in protecting the children who attend its schools but the reason children are subjected to violence on a daily basis in and around schools.

    Bloody days increase in Chicago's general high schools (Dec 2006)

  • "Yes, Institutional Violence Does Exist and It Exacerbates Youth Violence" by Tracy Siska, the Executive Director of the Chicago Justice Project

    "...The problem with the statement is that it completely ignores the fact that the city has and continues to put profits before the lives of our youth. The fact is that if they choose to close a school, they should at least try to plan to limit potential violence from gangs and racial conflicts...."

  • Students were not consulted about their safety or their school preference. This made little sense to the community or to the youth from Altgeld Gardens housing development, who now are assigned to Fenger rather than Carver.

    Bernardine Dohrn, Founding Director, Children and Family Justice Center at Northwestern's Bluhm Legal Clinic

    When a disastrous school murder or even just a tragic accidental death of a student occurs in white suburban neighborhoods of Chicago, the community is flooded with experts to address and reduce trauma. These health and clergy professionals work with students, teachers, parents, and administrators as part of an extended public health process. Of course Roseland has its own expertise and wisdom in survival and coping with tragedy. But where are the equivalent official resources and trauma response of caring and compassion for those in this African-American community? What do the kindergarten children make of this?

  • Families are blamed for closing neighborhood schools -- the reason students have to travel into rival communities to attend a public school? No, Mayor Daley, that is the execution of the Renaissance 2010 plan to privatize Chicago schools for corporate profit. Where are performance/financial audits detailing contracts to outside corporate interests that are starving neighborhood schools of basic resources? Let's see the proof, Mayor, that Ren2010 is a plan that works for ALL students.

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