Genocide In Chicago: The battle over school grounds

Too Young To Die There is a genocide taking place right under our noses in America.  It may not be as dramatic as those seen in other countries, or depicted in documentaries and movies.  But it is just as cold, calculated, and sinister.  For the last ten years there has been an increasing level of violence in the windy city of Chicago.  One by one the children are falling at an alarming rate to guns, gangs, and senseless brutality while the news is only spreading surface reports. In November of 2011 Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel was among the attendees at a memorial honoring some 260 Chicago Public School students killed by violence during the three prior school years.  The good mayor seemed to be making a cry to the public on behalf of the “poor inner city kids” plagued with gun/gang violence only to turn around a little over a year later and shut down over 50 schools in communities that once proved to be the only place to give children the assistance and protection needed to be saved.  The public school system needs to cut the budget by 1 Billion dollars, and they honestly feel that closing schools to save money will make matters better.  It would be nice if we could get children off the streets, out of gangs, and back in school.  Where is Mr. Clark/Morgan Freeman when you need him because there seems to be no one in Chicago’s Department of Education Administration that can total that sum for an end result.  You would think someone would have made the connection between lack of education and inner city violence by now, but it’s just not coming through loud and clear enough. “In Chicago, more than 530 people under the age of 21 have been killed since 2008 and many more have been shot or have otherwise suffered violence—often at the hands of their peers and particularly in the city’s African-American and Latino communities.” (TCR)  The most that U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan have been able to muster up and do is to throw a mere $500,000 dollars at the problem, yet as of today Chicago officials refused to hear anymore more negotiation (on the school closings) and plans to spend a whopping $233 million in an effort to save $43 million annually.(MSN) And if those numbers don’t warp your fragile little mind, the average student/teacher ratio in Chicago public schools is already 1:35.  How is a child to be successful in education with those odds?  How can the people making these horrendous decisions in this city not see that while they aren’t pulling the triggers on the guns in these neighborhoods, they are calling out the direction of the shots.  After watching Kelsey Grammar’s show “Boss” I started thinking.  Where else could the city afford to cut back and save the children, you know, if they REALLY wanted to. 

A quick look at the Illinois State Accountability page really got my blood boiling.  How can the state even justify spending $190,000,000.00 on corrections facilities and just $9,000,000.00 on the Education Department?  What’s more vicious than that?  Only 3 million was spent collectively for the state teachers’ retirement fund.  It’s my opinion that there is a vulture circling Chicago eyeing prime property and business expansion.  Only, there are natives atop this gold mine and he/she/they have to remove them without sounding the alarm. What else might lead me to this assumption?  The closing of these schools are going to force students to cross gang lines increasing society chaos and student safety risks. It’s as if the systems is saying, “If we can’t kill them, we can get them to kill themselves, the world will see it as senseless violence and be none the wiser.  So far so good, because it seems the mass media is more concerned with Jodi Arias these days than they are the quiet killing fields of Chicago, so no one is really attempting to alert the public to this impending crisis.  CNN did manage to report about a week ago that a 6 month old baby was shot in her stroller as her father changed her diaper, and let’s not forget Michelle Obama taking the time to attend the funeral of a child that just weeks before being shot to death in a drive by, performed at the POTUS’ inauguration simply because he hails from her home city of Chicago and did so promising change.

Chicago Rally Protests Public School ClosingsProtesters gathered, but the Mayor nor his city officials would hear no more on March 27, 2013.  More than 1000 people filled the streets of Chicago, and conflicting reports say anywhere from one to over 130 demonstrators were arrested.  My advice to parents in Chicago, keep protesting, but instead of protesting the city killing schools, protest the city killing your children in the name of money. Without education, they have nothing.  Don’t just make your voice heard, make what you are saying pertinent to the world.  This is much more than the closing of schools, this is another nail in the coffins of these communities.  We the people, we the parents, cannot stand by and allow this to happen.  For the rest of us, all we can hope is that we can get the Mayor to listen through letters, email, and trolling his Facebook page.  Make it known that we won’t stand for this blatant destruction of innocent youth in America. We might not be there in Chicago with you, but we’re here in spirit, and we support you.

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9 Responses to Genocide In Chicago: The battle over school grounds

  1. Jay says:

    It takes a broad brush to equate closing schools to denying education and killing kids. It’s not like an amazing school is closed and suddenly students have no place to go. An underutilized school is closed and students are moved to another school. While the teacher:student ratio does hurt, this is far from the link that you make that seems as if kids are being sent to the killing field.

    • Melissa says:

      I slightly disagree, I do believe that there is a strong link between shutting school downs within Chicago and violence. For instance, the other day their was this child outside just sitting there throwing rocks my friend asked them why they weren’t at school and he said because they closed his school down, and the closet school was too far to go to, the child went on to say that he really wished he was school. Obviously there are more details which have been left out but overall you can see that the child is wandering aimlessly, the child is only in grade 4. Everyone knows that Education is key, where else will he learn to expand his knowledge? When children are left to wander aimlessly they will look for other means to entertain themselves? or have you know children or better yet have taken data collection based on situations like these. I have definitely begun taking data and so far there is a correlation. I have many examples of situations where projects within the inner communities were shut down, and observed what the children did to Replace their time being spent at (example of place) the after school program. In some cases some children went home, and in other situations other children stayed outside on the streets where its not even safe. All im trying to say is there is a he correlation and that there should be a lot of more emphasis placed on situations like these.

      • raisinemreal says:

        Thanks for your reply Melissa!!! In the NPR report I posted above to Jay, Chicago officials even in 2011 couldn’t conclude how prevent the extremes they were seeing, and still no one thought to educate these kids. I see rich neighborhoods everyday throwing money into their school systems, and preparing the children for college. Why wouldn’t this too be successful in Chicago? Nice input. Thanks and keep reading!!!

      • Where are these children that are left wandering the streets? Do their parents know they are not going to the other schools? And what about being home-schooled??? These people today! My mother would come up to my school every once in a while–what’s the matter with some of these parents!?! Inbox me on Facebook.

    • raisinemreal says:

      Jay, my auntie used to always tell me that idle hands were the Devil’s playground. As child I had not a clue what she meant, but as a mother I can still hear her voice ringing in my ears today, loud and clear. In a mind that is absorbing information like a sponge without constructive information to absorb, chaos will ensue. Cognitive Learning Theories like those of John Dewey, Marie Montessori, and David Kolb have not only concluded this, but proven over years in constructive learning environments. The golden rule is, always has been, and always will be that “A child’s environment is conducive with his or her survival.” We can’t control who a child will become, but we can guide them in the direction that they need to grow. By closing schools, you are leaving idles hands in the Devils playground. With parents who have to work to pay the electricity Nazi (aka light bill), who is left to supervise and constructively educate these kids. If you guessed ‘The Streets’, you guessed right. And the last time I checked, parents weren’t signing up to be on ‘The Streets’ waiting list for acceptance into their prestigious program.
      NPR reported that 700 children were hit with gunfire in 2010 from which 66 died. Yet, the mayor claimed that nearly $50 Million in federal stimulus funds would be pledged to help solved the “problem”. $20 Million from the Education Department was given to a mentor program that no one ever speaks of, and now, in an effort to save $20+ Million a year the solution is to close schools? That just warps my fragile little mind, because you can’t tell me that it took $80 Million dollars to cut the number of children shot in Chicago per year down by half in 3 years. $80 Million dollars could have bought homes for many of those disadvantaged families, and turned crappy educational facilities into stellar ones therefore transforming the 8.5% of Chicago where the city claims the shootings are confined. People say the responsibility of these children should fall on the parents, but I can’t remember a place and time when parents didn’t need the help of others, the village, when raising their children. It’s not just the responsibility of a few; it’s the responsibility of society. Yes, my brush stroke is broad, but it’s meant to spark debate on how we can save each other. Thanks for the input. Keep reading!!!

  2. Metta Earl says:

    Can we get an update to this article

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