This American Life segments are devoted to the violence affecting Harper High School. During the 2011-2012 school years, 29 current and former students were shot. Twenty-one were wounded; eight died.
Guns are rampant in this neighbourhood. It shows how horrible they are with drive by shootings by gangs, and young children who witness death on a regular basis. What has helped in this school are supportive funding, which is about to run out, for special needs schools. Their multi-million dollar budget is about to lose $1.6 million next year, with staff cuts, including these miracle teachers.
Schools who are at risk for violence, social and emotional ills best remedied by social work intervention, supportive staff, breakfast programs, computers, emergency housing and clothing.
"I appreciate you in advance for getting to class on time!" One social worker declares.
I remember using this tactic in my classrooms: "Thank you for putting that into the recycling!" referring to a piece of paper on the floor. They do, surprisingly.
"We are not selling crack. Pull your pants up, nobody wants to see the crack of your butt, baby!" the principal tells one student! They are corrected with boundless love, joy and humour.
Harper High School, a Chicago public school located on the south side, serving the West Englewood neighborhood. The school was founded in 1911, and was named after William Rainey Harper, a noted educator, biblical scholar and university president. Harper serves a primarily African American population of approximately 638 students.
This school isn't the only one. It is indicative of the realities of many inner city schools.
One tweet, from a listener: