School Violence Summit-Just Another Dog & Pony Show?

I’ll be posting everything I can find about the big “violence summit” here, which is turning into a local and national event.  [See additions by clicking at bottom.]

Breakfast with Mayor Daley. Will meet with families of victims Lynn Sweet

Secretary Arne Duncan and Attorney General Eric Holder are expected to meet privately
with families, students and local officials impacted by this horrible

Daley decries Albert beating, will meet with Cabinet secretaries Fran Spielman
Thursday, Daley plans to unveil his own plan to combat school violence
based on some of the suggestions he heard at Monday’s closed-door

Holder, Duncan in Chicago on Wednesday Tribune
Pat Quinn said he’s glad Duncan and Holder are in town but suggested
what states really need to combat violence is more money from the
federal government.

Click below for several more stories.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday it is ridiculous to suggest that an ambitious plan to improve education in Chicago contributed to a surge in violence among students. [Also pledged $500K to Fenger and released joint statement at bottom.]

Chicago Targets Teen Violence After Deadly Brawl NPR
school officials defend the Renaissance plan and argue that there are
much deeper, underlying problems leading to urban youth violence.

Violent Deaths Shock Chicago Into Action Wall Street Journal
Between September 2008 and September 2009, 398 Chicago students were
shot, said Monique Bond, a spokesman for the district. So far this
school year, four students have been slain..The Rev. Jesse Jackson speculated that the wide
circulation of the beating video could have influenced the decision to
drop Chicago in the first round of voting last week.

School closings may be root of Chicago teen deaths Associated Press
Administrators [at Clemente] responded by holding student focus groups and social
events. Police also did roll calls outside the school, and the Chicago
Transit Authority sent extra buses to pick up students so they wouldn’t
linger outside the school, Perez said.

Curing a public epidemic Tribune
Chicago school and law enforcement officials have tried various
strategies to deal with violent teens, including adding police, video
cameras at schools and tougher curfew laws — all with little success.

Chicago Violence Haunts Obama Bloomberg
Gun issues in Chicago will remain in the national spotlight
following the U.S. Supreme Court’s Sept. 30 announcement that it
will hear a challenge of the city’s handgun ban, implemented in
1982 to combat urban crime.

The official press release is below.




Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan will
join Mayor Richard M. Daley for a press conference at City Hall in Chicago on
Wednesday to discuss the Obama Administration’s commitment to combating
youth violence in Chicago and across the nation. Attorney General Holder and
Secretary Duncan will also hold a private meeting with students, parents, and
local officials in Chicago on Wednesday morning.


of the press conference are below:


WHO:                         Eric
Holder, U.S. Attorney General

Duncan, U.S. Secretary of Education

Richard M. Daley, Mayor, City of Chicago

Michael W. Scott, President, Chicago Board of Education

Ron Huberman, Chief Executive Officer, Chicago Public Schools

Dozier, Principal, Fenger High School


Press Conference


Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 11 a.m. CDT


City Hall

121 N. La Salle Street, Room 201A



PARKING:               Limited
parking is available on the south side of Randolph Street and the east side of
Clark Street, just north of Randolph.


U.S. Department of Justice to Release Study on Children’s Exposure to Violence;
U.S. Department of Education to Provide $500,000 Grant to Help Fenger Community

Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan today joined with Chicago city officials to call for a national conversation on values to address youth violence in the wake of the fatal beating of a Chicago high school student.  The announcement followed meetings with City officials, community leaders, students, and parents.

“Youth violence isn’t a Chicago problem, any more than it is a black problem or a white problem. It’s something that affects communities big and small, and people of all races and colors. Today is the beginning of what will be a sustained, national effort on behalf of this entire administration to address youth violence and to make our streets safe for everyone,” Holder said.

“Chicago will not be defined by this incident but rather by our response to it – so we came here today to join with you and with communities all across America – to call for a national conversation on values. It’s a conversation that must happen every place in America where violence, intolerance, and discrimination exists,” Duncan said.

Today’s meeting continues President Obama’s and the Administration’s strong commitment to combating violence:
*       In August, the Attorney General joined mayors from across the nation at a White House Gang Violence Prevention and Crime Control Conference.
*       The Recovery Act provided $4 billion for state and local law enforcement assistance, crime prevention, victims of crime, and funding to address violence against women. Through the Recovery Act, the City of Chicago received over $13 million in funding from the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) to hire 50 officers to help combat crime and violence.
*       The President’s budget includes a request of $298 million in additional funding for hiring additional police officers to help meet the Administration’s commitment to hire 50,000 officers nationwide.
*       The Administration requested $114 million within the Department of Justice to fund programs designed to reduce criminal recidivism and help end the revolving door from corrections to reoffending, as well as $115 million in reentry-related programs funded within the Department of Labor.
*       The President’s budget requested $24 million to support successful community-based partnerships designed to end violent youth crime – partnerships like the successful model implemented by Operation Ceasefire in Chicago.

The Department of Justice will today release a study on children’s exposure to violence. Among other findings, the study shows that more than 60 percent of the children surveyed were exposed to violence in the past year, either directly or indirectly. Nearly half of children and adolescents were assaulted at least once, and more than one in 10 were injured as a result.  Nearly one-quarter were the victims of robbery, vandalism or theft, and one in 16 were victimized sexually. The study can be found at after 2 p.m. ET.

“These numbers are astonishing, and they are unacceptable. We simply cannot stand for an epidemic of violence that robs our youth of their childhood and perpetuates a cycle in which today’s victims become tomorrow’s criminals,” Holder said.

Duncan announced that the Department of Education is working with Chicago Public Schools (CPS) to award a $500,000 grant to help Fenger High School and the elementary and middle schools that feed into Fenger HS, restoring learning environments following the death of 16-year-old Derrion Albert. His fatal beating, outside a Roseland community center several blocks from the high school, was captured on a cell phone video. Funds for this grant are coming from a grant program entitled Project SERV – School Emergency Response to Violence. This program is designed to help restore the learning environment in school districts that have been impacted by a significant traumatic event. SERV grants also were provided to school districts in New Jersey, Massachusetts, and New York in 2009.

Duncan emphasized, however, “This is not about the money. Money alone will never solve this problem. It’s about our values. It’s about who we are as a society. And it’s about taking responsibility for our young people to teach them what they need to know to live side-by-side and deal with their differences without anger or violence.”

The grant from the Department of Education will enable CPS to facilitate safe passage for students to and from school, offer training to enable teachers to better manage their classrooms and engage students in learning, and it can be used to collaborate with community organizations to expand and increase student-centered support programs. The grant also can be used to strengthen the school support network with crisis response training for teachers, and to provide additional, extensive mental health services to students and the school community.



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  • This is stupid. The person who caused this problem through his naive and unsuccessful high school policies is the person who is coming to meet with people and develop solutions.
    Only in Chicago.......

  • Where is the press release from the teachers and administration at Fenger? Are they afraid or don't know what the H--- to do? All the teachers and administration was fired in June 2008. What is the new staff got to say about the job they were hired to fixed.

  • When will everyone learn the Crisis Management is an investment in a crisis that already exists! From the Moment of Commitment (when a shooter pulls their weapon and begins firing) to the Moment of Completion (when the last round is fired) is about 5 seconds! If Chicago Schools continue to

  • My understanding is that the turnaround leadership at Fenger told the staff that none of them could talk to the media under any circumstances.

  • Retired Principal said: Does anyone know where Derrion Albert lived? Did he live in the "Ville"?

  • Arne "Lurch" Duncan to the rescue! Not that figurehead, again. He helped to perpetuate this violence by hiding in Daley's pocket as yes man for the CPS. Daley ran rampant implementing his poor policies.

    "Naive and unsuccessful high school policies" has to be THE understatement of the year, RetiredToo. No one in politics is ever that naive, at least not for long. Duncan knew, went with it and look what it got him-- a Presidential Cabinet appointment.

    It makes me sick to think they are going to throw $24 million at this problem.

  • "They are meeting about us without us," said Phillip Jackson of the Black Star Project. "President Obama fueled up Air Force One to fly to Copenhagen to try to win the Olympics. Why can't he fuel up a Greyhound bus and come here?"

  • The POOR policies of Duncan/Daley have led to this violence. They close schools and open schools, shift students to other schools without thought about neighborhood boundaries or affiliations. They are the cause of this upsurge in violence....

  • Anonymous,
    If I hear that word "engaged" one more time, I won't be responsible for my actions!!!! :)

  • the only way to stop the killings is to eliminate street gangs completely. make gangs and gang membership illegal and reason enough to go to prison! you can not buy, sell, hold a job or do anything at all as long as you belong to a street gang! killers, drug dealers, terrorists etc. should never have any rights of any kind. how did we deal with hitler? did we offer him a job, education, coffee and donuts? no! he was dealt with the same way that he dealt with others and that was military power! nothing else would have worked with hitler and it has not nor will not work with gangs and terrorists either! give all gang members one week to turn themselves in and all their weapons, confiscate all of their property, and make them disavow any further involvement with gangs or risk imprisonment. after one week is up, use the military to sweep through the gang infested areas and use whatever means necessary to dispose of the remaining gang members who refused to turn themselves in. show them no mercy as they have shown their victims no mercy as did hitler also! the alternative is to keep on having useless marches, speeches, etc. which have noy worked with gangs and did not work with hitler either.



    Early Departures for the Sun, is a riveting book that chronicles the prevailing violence, which permeates our lives and homes. America has become so obsessed with violence that little children are learning to kill before they understand the English alphabet. Many people search for a spiritual answer, only to hope that their faiths would lead them to see their love ones who were violently removed from their lives. Violence also reared its ugly head in today

  • When will we wake up to the fact that are leaders have dropped the ball in bringing real opportunities to this trouble neighborhood! Without jobs and hopes nothing will change. The proof is the last 25 years of unfulfilled promises by our leaders.

  • Every time Daley changes the head of CTA, CPS, CPD, S&S, chief of staff, it reminds me of rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic, useless. These people didn't fix the problem where they were, why would anyone believe they could fix something someplace else. Worthless, overpaid, chess pawns servicing the King.

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