Heather Mac Donald recently wrote at City Journal (Undisciplined, Summer 2012):
Arne Duncan, of all people, should be aware of inner-city students’ self-discipline problems, having headed the Chicago school system before becoming secretary of education. Chicago’s minority youth murder one another with abandon. Since 2008, more than 530 people under the age of 21 have been killed in the city, mostly by their peers, according to the Chicago Reporter; virtually all the perpetrators were black or Hispanic.What is life like in those schools? Natalie Pardo, back in September of 2007, wrote this for the Chicago Reporter (Chicago Public Schools: Expulsions Rise, But Safety Issues Persist):
Between September 2011 and February 2012, 25 times more black Chicago students than white ones were arrested at school, mostly for battery; black students outnumbered whites by four to one. (In response to the inevitable outcry over the arrest data, a Chicago teacher commented: “I feel bad for kids being arrested, . . . but I feel worse seeing a kid get his head smashed on the floor and almost die. Or a teacher being threatened with his life.”) So when Duncan lamented, upon the release of the 2012 discipline report, that “some of the worst [discipline] discrepancies are in my hometown of Chicago,” one could only ask: What does he expect?
At a time when schools in rural and suburban America have been shocked by random acts of unexplained violence, Chicago schools continue to crack down on what, by most measures, has become regrettably commonplace. The number of students expelled from city public schools has jumped dramatically in the last three years, from 57 in the 1995-96 school year to 318 last year, according to an analysis of school records by The Chicago Reporter.
And while schools are seizing more weapons than ever, students are devising ways to beat the system. Five Chicago public school teens told the Reporter how they smuggled weapons–"for self-defense, they say–"past metal detectors and other security stops.
"It's a terrible commentary on society in the 1990s when people feel the need to have a weapon to protect themselves," said Chicago Public Schools Chief Education Officer Cozette Buckney.
But the former high school principal said the system cannot tolerate any violations. "The school has a right to a safe environment," Buckney said. "When you bring a gun, you bring a gun, you bring a gun: It's hard to see a gray area."
The board's zero tolerance policy, initiated in the fall of 1995, required principals to report all acts of misconduct. And now all high schools must have metal detectors. Lawmakers also have acted. On July 31, Gov. Jim Edgar signed legislation making the unlawful use of weapons on or within 1,000 feet of a school a class 3 felony, which carries a two- to five-year prison sentence. And last year the Chicago City Council prohibited the possession of utility knives and box cutters by anyone under 18.
In June, Vallas announced that metal detectors would be installed in the remaining 11 high schools that do not have them.
But on Aug. 25, no detectors were in place at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School, 211 S. Laflin St.. The school, considered the crown jewel of the Chicago system, has expelled seven students since 1995. It has three metal detectors, but it should have nine, board records show.
The Local School Council has voted against metal detectors, said Principal Joyce Kenner. "We feel it's under the control with security personnel and staff in the building."
Still "we are very vigilant about safety. Everyone has their eyes and ears open."
"I feel fortunate –¦ privileged to say that I have never viewed any type of metal detector inside of Whitney Young," said senior Khandicia N. Randolph, 17.
Because of the high caliber of the students and parental support, metal detectors aren't needed on a daily basis at Kenwood Academy High School, 5015 S. Blackstone Ave., said Assistant Principal James Williams. The school has security cameras and personnel, and the walk-through detectors will be up soon, he said.
Sixty-one high schools and four elementary schools have a total of 270 hand-held metal detectors, board documents show. But the Reporter's survey in July and August found the schools only could account for 196 of the devices. The schools told the Reporter they had 149 walk-through detectors; the school board counts 169.
K-12 schools for Chicago Public Schools (remember, only 8 percent of the 415,000 are white) are basically low-level detention facilities; they exist to babysit the detritus, the children of parents who can only care for their kids because of the generosity of the welfare state (free school lunches, EBT/Food Stamps, Public Housing/Section 8 Housing).
The Chicago Reader provided us more details on just why the public school system in Chicago operates as a low-level prison facility (More young people are killed in Chicago than any other American city, By: Kari Lydersen and Carlos Javier Ortiz / January 25, 2012) ):
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. Nearly 80 percent of youth homicides occurred in 22 black or Latino communities on the city’s South, Southwest and West sides—even though just one-third of the city’s population resided in those communities. The rate of youth homicide in West Englewood on the city’s South Side, for instance, was nearly five times higher than the citywide mark.
In contrast, there have been 22 other Chicago communities with no more than 1 youth killing since 2008. Many were located on the city’s North Side, but others like Beverly, Garfield Ridge, Hyde Park and Mount Greenwood did not lose any youth to violence but are next to or just a few minutes drive from others with some of the highest youth homicide rates in the city like Woodlawn, Roseland and Morgan Park.It's time to turn off the welfare spigots. It's time for those remaining 8 percent white students in Chicago Public Schools to be evacuated out of the city (perhaps to Gary, Indiana, where they and their families will be tasked with fixing up that city) and for one thing to happen: concede control of Chicago to those who the administrators of the Chicago Public School system work so hard to baby-sit.
Turn the metal detectors off in the schools (how racist of the CPS to deny freedom to the 84% Black and Brown students enrolled there!) and desist in suspending unruly Black - and Brown- students, which brings so much chagrin to Crusading White Pedagogues (CWP) like Duncan.
Give control of Chicago to --- the people.