School Discipline & Gun Violence

Today’s news includes lots about the proposed new discipline policy and the still high levels of gun violence surrounding Chicago school students’ lives.


Spike in CPS students struck by gun violence this school year Tribune: Twenty-four students were fatally shot during the school year that ended June 15, four fewer than in the 2010-11 year. But the overall shooting toll — 319 — was the highest in four years and a nearly 22 percent increase from the previous school year… For the last 21/2 years, Philadelphia-based Youth Advocate Programs has mentored and worked with CPS students deemed most at risk of being shot… Similarly, Chicago Youth Centers, which serves 60 students at South Shore High School, will not provide a summer mentoring program at the school after CPS asked the organization to cut its budget by nearly half.


CPS releases student Code of Conduct revisions Catalyst: The most significant change in the revised code is the scrapping of automatic 10-day, out-of-school suspensions from the arsenal of punishments for even the most serious offenses (which include sexual assault and the use of a weapon). The minimum number of days for suspension in these severe cases is five, although the principal may still apply up to a 10-day suspension.

CPS seeks to lessen student suspensions Tribune: Chicago’s school board is scheduled to vote on the proposed changes Wednesday. They include: •Giving principals the option to assign in-school suspensions to students whose offenses currently lead to out-of-school suspensions.

Chicago Public Schools moves to crack down on bullying Sun Times: School staff and students who see a child bullying another would be required to report it, and accusations of such behavior would have to be investigated within 10 school days under a proposed Chicago Public School Student Code of Conduct that includes a crackdown on the hot-button problem.

Martinez faces public, explains his vision for improving the District Philadelphia Public School Notebook: An accountant who also served as the Chief Financial Officer of the Chicago Public Schools, he was pressed by educators concerned about his lack of teaching ..


Vote possible Tuesday on bill to keep student loan interest rates low, Durbin says Sun Times: A bill to keep interest rates low on student loans could be voted on as early as Tuesday, said Sen. Dick Durbin, the No. 2 Democrat in the U.S. Senate. “We’re very close, and I think it’s going to be done this week — fingers crossed,” Durbin said at a Chicago news conference.

Brizard Reflects On First Year Of Running Chicago Schools CBS Local: Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Teachers Union, Dana Kozlov, … a possible teachers strike – fueled by the Chicago Teachers Union’s frustrated members.

Marching For Marriage Equality In Chicago’s Pride Parade Progress Illinois: Other floats in the Pride Parade from organizations and politicians included the Chicago Teachers Union, Center on Halsted, ABC7, Ald. Danny Solis (25th)…

Mayor Emanuel Welcomes DeVry to New Chicago Location Tribune: Mayor Rahm Emanuel joined DeVry Inc. President and CEO Daniel Hamburger today to welcome DeVry Online Services to its new Chicago home office. DeVry will bring 600 jobs over nine y

For the Record: Teacher Incentive Fund Grant Catalyst: Catalyst Chicago first requested information about the grant application under the Freedom of Information Act in July 2010, when the grant was submitted; September 2010; September 2011; and April 2012. CPS released a copy this month.


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  • Rate of Killings Rises 38 Percent in Chicago in 2012 -

  • Can anyone help me find this debate "between a young academic... and an award-winning teacher and activist"? described on Gaper's Block W

  • so did CPS go too far, or not far enough in softening the discipline policy?

  • I am glad that Alexander opened this thread on violence and youth in our city. Every Monday morning I watch the morning news and it plays a lot like combat reporting. Even though I have big reservations about Father Pfleger's economic relationship with the City of Chicago, he none the less has spoken to the morality of this situation which is overwhelming many of us living in Chicago.

    Noreen Ahmed-Ullah provides the reader with a lot of data in her Tribune article on CPS students who were shot during the 2011-12 school year. What is unclear is what if any impact the overall culture of calm program had in relation to community based shootings. Before I go on with this discussion I want to state straight up I supported former CEO Huberman's program, but I would like some information on any measureable impact it might have had.

    Of the of the 38 schools that got the "culture of calm" grant in 2010, I would like to know what if any measureable impact it had on reducing shootings carried out either by students enrolled in these schools or in students shot that attended these schools . In fact if one goes back to 2010 and looks at Board reports 10-825-PR15, 10-0623-PR39, and 10-0623-PR37 you will discover that relevant data was required to be collected by schools and vendors that should to a degree present a picture as to whether or not the program actually had an impact.

    In May of 2011 the Consortium on Chicago School Research issued a report "Student and Teacher Safety in Chicago Public Schools," that claimed there was initial evidence about the potential promise of the culture of calm strategy. There has been no real analysis of the program that I can find and as yet the Consortium has not issued any program evaluation.

    Youth Advocate Programs, Inc also does not have any program evaluation of the work it has done in Chicago on its own website. YAP just states this: " In Chicago, Staff took a small successful program and parlayed it into one of our largest programs funded by the Chicago Public Schools. Hundreds of students had been shot, wounded and killed over the last few years so the Chicago School System identified the 250 highest-risk students and referred them to YAP for our intensive, in-home, neighborhood-based services." In a Tribune article by Barbara Brotman that appeared on June 19, 2011 we can read the following: " YAP officials say the program is working, although statistics from CPS still show a high level of shootings and murders. During the last two school years, 444 CPS students have been wounded by guns; 53 have been killed. But YAP CEO Jeff Fleischer said that YAP participants have largely been protected." CPS when it cut funding last year stated the culture of calm program was costing $26,000 per student per year on top of their educational costs. If that was true, CPS was paying almost as much for this program as it does to place students with serious emotional disturbance in private therapeutic schools, which is mind bending.

    It is not surprising that the vendors in the current Tribune article suggest that any increase in shooting is attributable to cuts in funding for the culture of calm program, and they may in fact be correct. But as yet I have seen no serious evaluation of this program from any source including CPS which paid its bills.

    Rod Estvan

  • Problem--CPS allows 31 students in 1st grade! Class size must be reduced--pay for this now so you do not have to pay for prison and death later. Or is this what the CPS Board wants?-there is money to be made in prisons ya know.
    Bring back truant officers! Cannot believe that judges-courts would rather be overcrowded with teen-young adults waiting for sentencing and trial, as they get educated in prison on how to be a better criminal, rather than the tickets given to neglectful parents to get their kids in school.!! yes, parents are poor/unemployed and cannot pay the fine-so they do work int eh school adn community instead--(too brilliant of an idea!)
    As for student code of conduct: in-school suspension is meaningless if CPS, and I mean CPS, will NOT pay for a person to run it. CPS-lip service=telling schools to do ISS and then gives no funds to have someone oversee it. Stop making schools use poverty money that SUPPLANTS what the Board wants and takes even more funds away from poverty schools' instructional needs.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "In-school suspension is meaningless if CPS will NOT pay for a person to run it."

    Just levy a fine on the suspended students. It works for charter schools.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Would not work for the REAL Chicago public schools. There is no way to get the money from the parent/guardian and they know it. Unfair that charters get to do this-but they survive and can kick kids out--as they do. Real public schools cannot. Please come-up with an idea that schools can use.

  • This is an event for journalists --- maybe teen reporters from student newspapers/media or their advisors might be interested:

    From the Chicago Headline Club:

    "Covering Youth Violence"

    Dear Colleague,

    We are sometimes only as good as our sources and lately I sense that we need more voices to tell us what’s happening with youth violence here.

    That’s why the Headline Club is co-sponsoring a meeting on June 28th to bring journalists together with those who deal with youth violence. As this story seems to tragically grow larger, we need, I think, to find new sources to explore and explain and to help us describe the toll of the violence and what could be done.

    The Community Media Workshop and a broad coalition of organizations that deal with violence, called Strengthening Chicago’s Youth, is putting on the meeting.

    WBEZ reporter and South Side bureau chief Natalie Moore is the moderator for our event. We will have close to 30 organizations along with public officials waiting at tables separately to offer their insights and contacts.

    Think speed interviewing. Think dozens of stories. Think contacts you never had before.

    The meeting is from 9 am to 11:30 am on June 28th at 33 East Congress, first floor, Columbia College, journalism building (Congress and Wabash) CTA bus and train stops are nearby. Here’s the link for a map: If you can make it, please click here so we know how many folks to expect. (RSVP AT

    I hope you can benefit from this resource at a time when we journalists need to do our best.


    In the last year the Headline club has put on workshops that helped us know our rights and privileges to public information and meetings, helped us to cover traumatic situations and to deal with what we experience ourselves, and guided us through covering potentially dangerous stories as we feared the NATO summit might become.

    We have no choice as journalists to keep learning if we want to keep our profession alive and pertinent. So, tell us what else we need to do. From now on you also talk to Alden Loury who is the new Headline Club president ( I’m still on the board and so are bunch of talented and caring folks, so you can talk to us as well.

    But talk to us. We need you to tell what we need to do.

    And thanks for your help and support this last year.

    Steve Franklin (SOURCE: COPIED FROM

  • The only student suspension program that I have actually seen work was in a small town in Western New York. A high school principal devised a plan that students on suspension would attend school between 2:00pm and 6:00pm. That way they couldn't hang out with their friends in school, they were forbidden by law from working during school hours and the little darlings kept up with their classes. A few facullty members got a some extra paid hours, while their regular classes had some peace.

    Win! Win!

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