A Chicago High School Principal Reflects On The Last 13 months
Violence in Chicago is making headlines nationwide, again. Murders are up, and more kids were shot this past school year than the year before.
You hear about the bullets that find the kids. Kids shot on the block where they live. Kids shot on the way to school. Kids shot while they play.
Principals think about numbers all the time. Test scores and attendance and dropout rates. This year, Sanders is counting funerals, too.
Basically, Sanders’ school is in a war zone.
SANDERS: I had to call one of Shakaki’s teachers, and she just screamed on the phone. The social worker that worked with her fell out. And so when I knew all this was going on I had to gather myself together and the first thing I did was just go in my bathroom and pray. And I just prayed for God to give me the strength to deal with this.
At the funeral, Shakaki’s mother cried out in pain, her wails pulled tears from the hundreds who packed the church.
SANDERS: I had a student in there, his name is Deonte Tanner. And he said, ‘Do you know what me and my friends talked about at the end of the school day, the last day of school?’ And he said, ‘Which one of us won’t make it back in August.’ What kind of conversation is that for children to have?