Subscript: Huberman uses threat of gang violence as reason for expanding 'Track E'

It was July 20, 2009, and a beautiful summer day. Chicago's public schools leaders were holding a major "Back to School" media event a month-and-a-half before most of the city's public schools will reopen, and a full two weeks before the city's "year round" schools will re-open. ONe of the most unusual things about the remarks of Chicago schools CEO Ron Huberman was that he noted that the gang violence which increases Chicago's youth murder body count month after month is not because kids are being murdered in schools.

More than 25 CPS "Youth Outreach" staff provided perimeter security during the carefully organized July 20 media event, then continually provided back pack resupply to Ron Huberman and Alderman Emma Mitts during their brief July 20 walkabout. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.In a rather moving way, Huberman told the Monday morning July 20 crowd assembled at Piccolo school on Chicago's west side that his weekend was dotted with calls about gang murders across the city. Noting that Chicago's public schools are among the safest places in many children's lives, he then wen on to claim that by expanding "Track E" CPS was helping reduce gang violence.

As was once said in another context:


If Ron Huberman wanted to attract kids to school buildings for longer periods of time, he would expand sports programs (by hiring and paying decent wages to coaches and assistant coaches), arts programs (and not simply as patronage for Mayor Daley's wife), and providing other activitiies -- from arts and crafts to supervised and secure game and athletic training -- rather than trying to shoehorn every thing into the Daley administration's Party Line.

For more than an hour on July 20, 2009, Chicago police (above, background, beside CPS security van) blocked traffic in the blocks around Piccolo school (1020 N. Keeler) so that the CEO of CPS and the local alderman could do a "Walkabout" distributing school back packs to adjacent children. The block around Piccolo was by most accounts the safest on Chicago's west side that morning. Chicago police were supplemented by CPS security and by CPS "Youth Outreach" staff who often provide security at events favored by Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. No single mayor in Chicago history has allowed the gangs to expand than Richard M. Daley.

No single mayor in Chicago history has cut more public programs for children (mostly, Park District and Chicago public schools) than Ron Huberman's sponsor, Richard M. Daley.

Yet when he discusses the death of children in the mayhem caused by the gangs Daley has allowed to run half the city, Huberman actually sounds sincere.

Double confusion? CPS is so busy promoting "Track E" schools that it might have missed the possibility that the signs spread across 140 school in Chicago promoting the "Track E" opening of school could be interpreted to mean "school starts August 10..." for all students. There are no signs announcing to the public that regular public school for most students (including virtually all high school students) begins September 8. "N.A.N.O." in current CPS jargon means "Non Attendance is Not an Option." Substance photo by George N. Schmidt. Too bad he isn't... 


July 22, 2009 at 8:11 PM

By: Gale

who are the "Youth Outreach" security?

Who comprises the "Youth Outrech" security group? Is this a part of CPS? WHat are their qualifications?

July 27, 2009 at 8:45 PM

By: zeta


Ron Huberman needs to be sentenced to live in one of these high crime areas and work in these crime filled schools. I am sure that when he has to be cooped up in a classroom with several gang bangers who simply come to school on a daily basis to eat and terrorize most of the students and teachers,\rI\'ll bet he\'ll come up with a different strategy! These violent students use the school as a place to plan their violent attacks. More school, more violence Mr. Huberman. Get ready for some more funerals!

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