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Murder of Derrion Albert, Chicago's Fenger High School tragedy caused in major part by Chicago's school closing, 'New Schools,' and 'turnaround' policies

[Editor's Note: The following article originally appeared at www.substancenews.net on September 29, 2009. It is being repeated here, with a few additions, because the Substance News Home Page begins anew on the first of every new month. The original article can still be viewed by going to "Back Issues" (use the menu bar at the top of this page) and going back to September 2009].

Chicago police announced on September 29, 2009, that officers had arrested four individuals and charged them with the murder of Fenger High School junior Derrion Albert.

The tragedy at Chicago's Fenger High School was not the only one resulting from the murder of a teenager during the last full week of September 2009 — only the most dramatic because the murder itself was captured on a video that the world is now watching. But more than most other gang induced murders in Chicago — and affecting the public schools — the murder of Derrion Albert is the result not only of the city's massive drug gang problem, but of the Chicago Board of Education's policies of 'New Schools' and 'School Turnaround.' By closing Calumet, Engelwood, and Carver high schools — and forcing the most challenging students from those schools into Fenger and nearby schools — Mayor Daley and Chicago schools officials appointed by him guaranteed that Fenger would "fail." When Fenger failed, Daley's school board voted to fire all of Fenger's teachers and force a program called 'turnaround' on Fenger. The destabilization resulted in chaos in September 2009. Substance caption and photo by George N. Schmidt.In a press release and statement issued at 5:00 p.m. on September 28, Police said: “Chicago Police charged two adults and one juvenile in Thursday's beating death of Fenger High School student, Derrion Albert, 16. Eugene Riley, 18, of the 13200 block of South Ellis Avenue, Silvonus Shannon, 19, of the 130 block of South Evans Avenue, and a 16-year-old male were each charged early this morning with First Degree Murder. Derrion Albert was fatally beaten on Thursday, September 24 (2009) after he unknowingly walked into the path of a fight involving two large groups of people in the 300 block of West 111th Street. Area 2 Detectives, reviewed video footage obtained from Fox News showing the offenders attacking Albert with wooden planks, and physically punching and kicking him as he lay helpless on the ground. With the help of the video, witnesses and the community, Detectives were able to identify and locate the offenders who were then taken in to custody. Arrestees were scheduled to appear in Central Bond Court, 2600 S. California today at noon.”

Later on September 28, a fourth individual, identified as Eugene Bailey, 17, of the 7900 block of South Throop. Like the others, Bailey was charged with Murder. Police said that Bailey was scheduled to appear in Central Bond Court, 2600 S. California on September 29. Two of the four adults charged in the murder have addresses in the Altgeld Gardens public housing project. The fourth lives in the Englewood community. All have been identified by reliable sources as affiliated with the Gangster Disciples street gang. News reports and Board of Education statements have indicated that Derrion Albert was not affiliated with a street gang.

The memorial to Fenger High School junior Derrion Albert sits against the west wall of the "Agape Center" on 111th St. in Chicago, a half mile (and a full five blocks) from Fenger High School. Derrion Albert was murdered on September 24, 2009, when he reportedly walked into a gang brawl on 111th St. while going home from school. The dramatic video of the beatings that led to Derrion Albert's death have made the murder more of a media event that the others that have befallen Chicago teenagers since the public school year began on September 8, 2009, for more than 400,000 students. But the memorials like the one above have been built by the hundreds during the years since Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley was first elected in 1989. Daley's policies of allowing the city's major drug gangs to flourish in the city's segregated African American and Latino communities (and in a few working class white areas) are viewed by many as a contributing factor to the ongoing wave of what Chicago's media refer to as "youth violence." While not all teenage murders in Chicago are committed by street gang members or are gang related, the vast majority are related to the gangs and their activities. The fact is, most Chicago youth are no more violent than young people in any other place, but the toxic expansion of the "People" and "Folks" gang nations has made Chicago unique in the USA as a center of drug gangs north of the Rio Grande River. Substance caption and photo by George N. Schmidt.The murder of Derrion Albert, which was caught on video by a person who was at the scene, was committed with the use of fists, feet, and large boards which some witnesses have indicated were taken from nearby railroads. The video was provided to Fox News, which shared it with the police and also aired it during newscasts.

Derrion Albert died of head wounds suffered during the beating. The beating took place, according to police and other reports, when two large groups of people, many of them Fenger High School students, began fighting in the 300 block of 111th St. after school let out on Thursday, September 24, 2009. Fenger High School, located at 11220 S. Wallace Ave. on Chicago's far south side, has been the scene of gang violence since school began in Chicago for students on September 8, 2009, because of "turnaround," according to many sources who asked Substance not to name them because the Chicago Board of Education has terminated a large number of veteran teachers, both from Fenger, and other schools, during the past five years.

Fenger in particular was stripped of its veteran teachers this school year under the Chicago Board of Education’s so-called “turnaround” program. CPS officials, including CEO Ron Huberman, Chief Education Officer Barbara Eason Watkins (who heads "turnaround"), "Chief Turnaround Officer" Donald Fraynd, and officials in the large CPS "Office of Communications" have refused to be interviewed by Substance of discuss these issues.

Substance will re-instate a request for interviews on September 29, 2009. According to sources at Fenger High School and in the community, only nine of the more than 100 teachers who had taught at Fenger were retained when the school was subjected to “turnaround” (a form of school reconstitution) was begun in June 2009.

During previous iterations of "turnaround," CPS has also purged the majority of veteran teachers from the schools, but this year the difference was that at Fenger the "turnaround" team was not allowed to purge the school's most challenging students as well. Chicago Public Schools officials have refused to answer questions regarding the denuding of the Fenger staff by “turnaround”, and CPS has also refused to comply with a request under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act for the Board of Education’s current “Position File” which would enable Substance to independently verify the names of the teachers and other staff who are at Fenger this year against the list of staff who were at Fenger last school year.

Fenger erupted from first week of school

Because the Chicago Board of Education was stung in 2008 by press reports and reports from community organizations indicating that previous high school “turnarounds” had scored improvements in test scores by simply getting rid of their most challenging students in the first year of “turnaround,” this year Fenger, the only high school hit by turnaround in 2009, was forced to keep its incumbent 10th, 11th and 12th grade students, as well as admitting eligible 9th grade students. Fenger, called an “Academy” under the unusual naming policies of the Chicago Board of Education, is a general high school.

Huge drug gangs are a plague across South Side communities

By the end of the second week of school, Fenger students and teachers began reporting to Substance staff that Fenger was the scene of increasingly violent street gang fights, both inside and outside the building. Community residents noted an increase in police presence at and around the school. One source told Substance that teachers had been injured during some of the altercations, but Substance was unable to confirm the reports, and CPS officials refused to answer any questions regarding the Fenger situation.

By the third week of school, which began September 21, sources at the school reported that school staff had told the gangs to “take it outside” and away from the school. The gangs involved in the fighting at the school were reportedly the Gangster Disciples, the largest gang in the “Folks Nation”, and the Black P. Stones, the largest gang in the “People Nation.”

On the morning of September 24, 2009, Fenger High School was already in turmoil. A Fenger student (and known street gang member) was arrested shortly after classes began in the morning for firing a gun outside the school at the corner of 113th St. and Wallace Ave. in the quiet middle class community that surrounds Fenger itself. The student, a 15-years-old, had been involved in a number of altercations in and around Fenger since the opening of school on September 8, according to school sources.

Chicago and Illinois have the largest drug gangs in the United States, and the gangs are divided into two large “nations” which operate both on the streets and within the jails and prisons, according to police sources and the Chicago Crime Commission (“The Gang Book”). Chicago Board of Education spokesperson Monique Bond failed to answer Substance questions, left by voice mail, regarding the “take it outside” order or the escalation of violence at Fenger prior to the murder of Derrion Albert.

Fenger draws some of the most difficult students from the far south side, mainly today as a result of Board of Education polices which have closed three high schools within three miles of Fenger.

CPS policy of closing African-American high schools for "failure" caused much of Fenger's problem in 2009

Beginning in 2004, CPS policies, developed and implemented by former Chicago Schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan, closed Calumet, Carver, and Englewood high schools.

Carver Area High School, at 13100 S. Doty Ave., which had served children from the Altgeld Gardens public housing project on Chicago’s far south side, was closed as a general high school and turned into “Carver Military Academy” three years ago. Carver now rejects students who do not want to take part in its military program.

Calumet High School, at 8131 S. May St., was ordered to stop admitting 9th graders in September 2004. Calumet was closed as a general high school by Arne Duncan after graduating its final class in June 2007. The Calumet building, after a $20 million rehab, was given by the Chicago Board of Education to the Perspectives Charter Schools. Perspectives now operates three charter schools within the building, which is called its “Calumet Campus.” Two of the Perspectives charter schools are high schools, and one is a middle school. Perspectives requires students to apply for admission and routinely gets rid of students who fail to follow the rules of Perspectives.

Perspectives administrators also pride themselves in rejecting calls to the Chicago Police Department, as has been reported previously in Substance and at www.substancenews.net. According to one former Perspectives teacher who left Perspectives and who testified at the January 10, 2009, hearing sponsored by CORE at Malcolm X College, Perspectives administrators have told the staff that the police oppress youth in the community.

Englewood High School, located at 6201 S. Stewart Ave., was closed as a general high school (by stopping taking 9th graders in 2005) and graduated its last general high school class in June 2008. Englewood “campus” now houses the widely publicized “Urban Prep” charter high school and a smaller public high school (‘Team Englewood”) on its so-called “campus.”

Schools and veteran teachers aware of gang presence, keep it under control

Prior to the radical changes in the high schools of Chicago’s south side, Calumet High School was widely known in the community as a school that had members of the “People”, specifically the Black P. Stones, among its students. Englewood and Carver were known as “Folks” schools. With the closing of Carver, Calumet and Englewood as general high schools, the remaining students from those schools — as well as those who were kicked out of the military high school or the charter schools — went to other south side high schools, with the majority of those from Altgeld Gardens going to Fenger.

At public hearings in February 2009, and earlier, teachers, community leaders and others (including this reporter, who served until 2004 as director of security and safety for the Chicago Teachers Union) warned that disrupting the general high schools of Chicago’s South Side would lead to increasing gang violence and destabilization.

Most recently, Fenger teachers and their supporters issued the same warning when Arne Duncan announced that he wanted to subject Fenger to “turnaround.”

Duncan left Chicago to become U.S. Secretary of Education in January 2009.

Huberman ignored Fenger staff and community warnings, did not even attend school closing hearings in January and February 2009

The new Chief Executive Officer of the Chicago Public Schools, Ron Huberman, did not attend any of the hearings on the proposed closings and other “turnarounds” in January and February 2009. Nor did he read the dramatic testimony in the transcripts which were available to CPS executives and Board of Education members on February 25, 2009, when the Board voted on Huberman’s recommendation to subject Christian Fenger High School to “turnaround.”

Since he became U.S. Secretary of Education in January 2009,

Arne Duncan has begun pushing so-called “turnaround” as a model for the USA, based on what is claimed to be the success of the program in Chicago.

President Barack Obama has also endorsed “turnaround,” singling out one corporate group in Chicago, the “Academy for Urban School Leadership” (AUSL), as a national model for turnaround and a supposed national source for “turnaround specialists.” At the time of the murder of Derrion Albert on 111th St. in Chicago, Obama had announced that one of the AUSL “turnaround” teachers was going to Copenhagen to help promote the Olympic bid for Chicago. Substance reported the Fenger hearing extensively in February and March 2009.

The Fenger chaos was predicated by students, teachers and community leaders at that time, and ignored by the Board of Education when it voted at its February 25, 2009 meeting to subject Fenger to "turnaround". At the time, not one member of the school board had read the dramatic transcript of the Fenger hearings.

The Board members relied on the recommendation of the "hearing officer," Respicio Vazquez, who was exposed in Substance as having a massive conflict of interest. Despite the fact that he told the hearings he was "independent" of the Board, he is in fact a partner in the Franczek law firm. The Franczek firm received the largest amount of outside legal work from the Chicago Board of Education between 2002 and 2009, amounting to several million dollars.

Recently, Arne Duncan hired one of the Franczek partners (Charlie Rose) to work as general counsel for the U.S. Department of Education. Despite these conflicts, the Board of Education voted to destroy Fenger High School, the teachers were fired in June and July 2009, and the history since September 8, 2009, is now a matter of record.

The Substance Fenger reports can be found in "back issues," especially Kristine Mayle's story at http://www.substancenews. net/articles.php?page=636. The Substancenews search function works very well at locating stories on particular Chicago schools. 

Final edited version of this article posted at www.substancenews.net September 29, 2009, 7:00 p.m. CDT. It was updated on October 1, 2009, at 8:00 a.m. If you choose to reproduce this article in whole or in part, or any of the graphical material included with it, please give full credit to SubstanceNews as follows: Copyright © 2009 Substance, Inc., www.substancenews.net. Please provide Substance with a copy of any reproductions of this material and we will let you know our terms — or you can take out a subscription to Substance (see red button to the right) and make a donation. We are asking all of our readers to either subscribe to the print edition of Substance (a bargain at $16 per year) or make a donation. Both options are available on the right side of our Home Page. For further information, feel free to call us at our office at 773-725-7502.



Comments:

October 1, 2009 at 11:15 PM

By: Jim Vail

Great Story

This is the major story that exposes Arne Duncan and turnaround as the fraud being forced on the rest of the nation with our taxdollars. In their drive to destroy public education and ruin the children's lives - the lies circulated via corporate media like Chicago Tribune and Sun Times can only go so far before it all blows up in their faces.

Substance, CORE and others willing to fight these corporate/government shysters who only look at the bottom line can call them out on it. Education is about the whole child, and the Fenger tragedy is only one of many increasing tragedies resulting from Mayor Richard Daley's "Renaissance Plan." - (a renaissance for the developers and bond holders making money on this, not the teachers, students and communities it's destroying.)

October 2, 2009 at 8:43 PM

By: Kugler

Huberman Committed 'Significant Management Failure'

Report rips Huberman's oversight of contracts

Inspector general says 'management failure' cost city $2.25 million

http://www.suntimes.com/news/cityhall/1802378,CST-NWS-huberman02.article

October 2, 2009

BY FRAN SPIELMAN City Hall Reporter fspielman@suntimes.com

Chicago schools chief Ron Huberman -- Mayor Daley's former corruption-fighting chief of staff -- is being accused of a "significant management failure" that set the stage for alleged contract irregularities at the city's 911 center that cost taxpayers $2.25 million.

In an explosive new report, the city inspector general's office characterizes Huberman as so derelict in the oversight of a contract with Motorola while he was executive director of the Office of Emergency Management and Communications that he should be suspended if he still worked for the city.

Adrienne Hiegel, Huberman's top deputy at OEMC in 2005, was accused of "altering documents" and failing to follow the city's procurement procedures.

If Hiegel still worked for the city -- instead of as a Huberman underling at the Board of Education -- she should be fired, the 38-page report states.

At issue are the March 2005 signatures of Huberman and Hiegel on a voucher for 18,000 radio accessories supposedly delivered by Motorola. Only after they signed on the dotted line was the company paid the $2.25 million. It was the largest of 130 vouchers that Huberman signed during his 13-month stint at OEMC.

In fact, no such radio accessories were ever delivered by Motorola, nor did the city need them.

It was all a scheme -- allegedly engineered by OEMC's first deputy Jim Argiropoulos -- that culminated in the falsification of documents to expedite the purchase of a new 911 dispatch console system from Motorola.

Chicago taxpayers have yet to receive anything for their money. The new console system that Argiropoulos portrayed after a 2004 system failure as a matter of life-and-death has yet to be delivered.

The inspector general's report accuses Huberman of a "significant management failure to supervise" the Motorola contract.

"The evidence does not support that Huberman knew that the paperwork submitted to the Finance Department was false," the report states. "Huberman's involvement appears to have been limited to his failure to review the details of one purchase voucher."

Hiegel did not get off so easily. The report accuses her of directing underlings to "work backwards to get to $2.25 million -- the cost of developing the Motorola software -- by using 18,000 radio parts to add up to" the same amount.

Hiegel could not be reached for comment. Huberman issued a prepared statement saying he was "disappointed" to learn after reading the IG report that "a few" of his OEMC underlings "failed to follow the procurement process."

"I regret that this misconduct occurred during my tenure," he said. "My involvement was the signing of one purchase voucher. As a [public official] who has always made it a priority to ensure that all policies and procedures are followed, I should have reviewed the document in question more carefully."

The Chicago Sun-Times reported earlier this week that the inspector general's report recommends Argiropoulos be fired.

The report marks the first major detour in Huberman's meteoric rise as Daley's go-to guy -- from Chicago police officer to 911 center chief to Daley's chief of staff.

Huberman also served as CTA president before being appointed schools CEO earlier this year to replace U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. Hiegel has followed Huberman virtually every step of the way -- and Huberman was silent on her role in the contract and her future.

October 2, 2009 at 9:06 PM

By: Kugler

huberman covers up murder - puddle of frozen blood

huberman stated that there were no serious incidents in or around CPS schools in the past year during his WTTW interview the other night. (Chicago Tonight October 1, 2009 - CPS CEO Ron Huberman)

"Let me give you another number. That number is Zero. That is the number of Chicago Public Schools students who were either hurt or shot on school grounds or in a school."

(00:48 of interview, < http://video.wttw.com/video/1282174373 > )

I guess he forgot the Crane student murdered on the steps of the school.

An hour after the shooting, his black jacket still lay on those steps, in a puddle of frozen blood.

John Kugler

kuglerjohn@comcast.net

A black coat lays in a pool of blood Friday afternoon on the front steps of Crane High School.(Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)

Friday's shooting, however, occurred in full view of one of five Chicago Police cameras stationed within a block of the Near West Side campus that is heavily patrolled by police and school administrators at dismissal time - as a number of students watched.

And the killing, according to reports, may have been over a hat.

"It's been hell. I'm trying not to cry," said the slain student's mother, who was all too familiar with this particular nightmare.

Just six years ago, Ivy's older brother, Raymond McNight, was killed when the car he was riding in was struck by a car that Green said was being pursued by police. The car in which her 15-year-old son was a passenger ricocheted into a bus, Green said.

"I cry so much my head hurts," Green said from her West Side home Friday night, surrounded by relatives as she clutched tissues and fought back tears.

"I just feel like I have to collapse," the grieving mother said.

Police characterized the shooting as gang-related.

CPS spokesman Michael Vaughn said some 10 to 12 police squad cars are normally in the school's area at dismissal time. Vaughn also said administrators form a "strong security presence" there when the final bell rings.

The shooting was "shocking'' because of the high level of security at Crane - both in manpower and technology - CPS Security Chief Andres Durbak noted.

"They do a great job over there. So it's shocking this would happen despite all those efforts," Durbak said.

Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. James Jackson said police were reviewing footage from the cameras and had a "person of interest" they were seeking.

Green said her son spent most of his time with his girlfriend, Regina Porter, 17, and his best friend, Lawrence Benson, 18.

Benson and other Crane students said the fatal shooting was related to a fight that had broken out in the school's third-floor hallway earlier in the day over urban headgear known as a "Buck Fifty" - a baseball cap with a working watch in it, which retails for $150.

Benson said that after the fight, "one boy kept messing" with Ivy.

"I told him just be calm," Benson said. "I made him promise me he wouldn't fight. He promised me."

But Benson said that as Ivy left the school after the dismissal bell rang, a group of boys approached him about a half-block west of the school, located at 2245 W. Jackson.

"He tried to defend himself," Ivy's best friend said. "By the time I made it to him it was too late."

Durbak said that one student was kicked in the head during the fracas and another "combatant pulled out a gun, fired once and killed this kid.''

Benson immediately called Ivy's mother, who rushed to the school.

When she arrived, her son "was just laying there up against the fence," the teen's mother said. "I just held my baby's hand. Seeing the blood coming out of his mouth I knew my baby was gone."

Friends and family said Ivy was an outgoing young man who loved playing basketball and watching Bears football games. He was the fourth oldest of eight children.

"It hurts. He was my best friend," said his girlfriend, Porter, recalling how Ivy bought her a teddy bear, a card and dinner this past Valentine's Day.

The teen's father, Ruben Ivy, Sr., of suburban Atlanta, said he had feared the worst for his son when he left him behind with his mother on the West Side.

"I was trying to get him down here. I was worried he would be incarcerated or worse in Chicago," the father said.

"I was hoping he could move here this summer."

After the shots were fired that killed Ivy, pandemonium broke out, students said. In the melee, one student suffered a seizure and was hospitalized, authorities said. Another student, Edwin Gilmore, 17, was beaten in the head and chest with a golf club on the school's front steps.

An hour after the shooting, his black jacket still lay on those steps, in a puddle of frozen blood.

Student fatally shot near West Side school

Friday, March 07, 2008 | 10:56 PM

Team Coverage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A shooting near a high school on Chicago's West Side left one student dead Friday afternoon.

Police say a 15-year old was also beaten with a golf club. The victim is in critical condition and underwent surgery Friday night.

It happened in the 2200-block of West Jackson near Crane High School.

"Today at approximately 3 o'clock, at dismissal time, officers in the vicinity responded to shots fired in the area of Crane High School. In the investigation an individual was found, a juvenile, who was shot and has since succumbed to his wounds. As a result of that, we also had another individual that was beaten with a golf club. He also is a student of Crane High School ," said James Jackson, first deputy superintendent.

Friday, March 07, 2008 | 10:56 PM

Team Coverage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A shooting near a high school on Chicago's West Side left one student dead Friday afternoon.

Police say a 15-year old was also beaten with a golf club. The victim is in critical condition and underwent surgery Friday night.

It happened in the 2200-block of West Jackson near Crane High School.

"Today at approximately 3 o'clock, at dismissal time, officers in the vicinity responded to shots fired in the area of Crane High School. In the investigation an individual was found, a juvenile, who was shot and has since succumbed to his wounds. As a result of that, we also had another individual that was beaten with a golf club. He also is a student of Crane High School ," said James Jackson, first deputy superintendent.

Story continues below

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Paramedics took two people from Crane High School to Stroger Hospital. The deceased young man has been identified by his family as 18-year-old Ruben Ivy, a sophomore at Crane High School.

Several students told ABC7 that tension has been brewing all year long between three or four gangs inside the school. Police confirmed the situation was gang related.

Ivy's family says he may have known gang members, but the gang members were the problem.

"The gang bangers at his school was bothering him. He was tired of fighting. He got to defend himself. So he was fighting the whole time he was going to Crane," said sister Deven Green.

Ivy's mother said that police told her that the gunman called her son by name just seconds before pulling the trigger and firing the fatal shot.

"They said there was a fight at school, and they said, you know, he was just on his way to come home and one boy just walked up to him and just shot him in the chest," said Emily Green, victim's mother.

Police are saying they have no one in custody, although a number of students tell ABC7 they know -- by name -- who pulled the trigger. Police also say they know who they are looking for - another teen.

"We have a person of interest, and we're comfortable that, pretty soon, there is going to be a conclusion to this," said Jackson.

Emily Green, a former Crane student herself, said she dropped out after she was shot in the foot. She also says this is the second child that she's lost. Her first son died in a car accident in 2002.

Students say the scene was total chaos, up and down the block. One said a crowd of people, as many as 50, were fighting, includingthe use of weapons.

"I just come out of the building. All I see, a crowd of people run up, bats and all. I was like, man, I need to get out of this jam," said student Quinton Rodgers.

Police say there was a dispute at the school Friday morning apparently over a baseball cap. They're trying to see if that's related to the shooting and beating.

Police are now checking out the security cameras that are in place up and down the block... And community leaders are calling for the violence to end.

Emily Green, meanwhile, is surrounded by family, mourning her son's loss.

"I have a lot of nieces and nephews and friends. We're going to miss him very dearly. I'm trying to be strong for the rest of my kids," she said.

Ivy's family says he had gone to police for help. Police say they will investigate that allegation. They also emphasize that officers are assigned to the school to protect the students and would never dismiss a student's request for protection.

Now, with Ivy's death, it's clear that students feel uneasy.

"I stay to myself. You know what I mean. As far as being comfortable, no, not really," said student Joey Smith.

October 2, 2009 at 9:25 PM

By: Kugler

huberman covers up murder - puddle of frozen blood

huberman stated that there were no serious incidents in or around CPS schools in the past year during his WTTW interview the other night. (Chicago Tonight October 1, 2009 - CPS CEO Ron Huberman)

"Let me give you another number. That number is Zero. That is the number of Chicago Public Schools students who were either hurt or shot on school grounds or in a school."

(00:48 of interview, < http://video.wttw.com/video/1282174373 > )

I guess he forgot the Crane student murdered on the steps of the school.

An hour after the shooting, his black jacket still lay on those steps, in a puddle of frozen blood.

John Kugler

kuglerjohn@comcast.net

A black coat lays in a pool of blood Friday afternoon on the front steps of Crane High School.(Scott Stewart/Sun-Times)

Friday's shooting, however, occurred in full view of one of five Chicago Police cameras stationed within a block of the Near West Side campus that is heavily patrolled by police and school administrators at dismissal time - as a number of students watched.

And the killing, according to reports, may have been over a hat.

"It's been hell. I'm trying not to cry," said the slain student's mother, who was all too familiar with this particular nightmare.

Just six years ago, Ivy's older brother, Raymond McNight, was killed when the car he was riding in was struck by a car that Green said was being pursued by police. The car in which her 15-year-old son was a passenger ricocheted into a bus, Green said.

"I cry so much my head hurts," Green said from her West Side home Friday night, surrounded by relatives as she clutched tissues and fought back tears.

"I just feel like I have to collapse," the grieving mother said.

Police characterized the shooting as gang-related.

CPS spokesman Michael Vaughn said some 10 to 12 police squad cars are normally in the school's area at dismissal time. Vaughn also said administrators form a "strong security presence" there when the final bell rings.

The shooting was "shocking'' because of the high level of security at Crane - both in manpower and technology - CPS Security Chief Andres Durbak noted.

"They do a great job over there. So it's shocking this would happen despite all those efforts," Durbak said.

Chicago Police First Deputy Supt. James Jackson said police were reviewing footage from the cameras and had a "person of interest" they were seeking.

Green said her son spent most of his time with his girlfriend, Regina Porter, 17, and his best friend, Lawrence Benson, 18.

Benson and other Crane students said the fatal shooting was related to a fight that had broken out in the school's third-floor hallway earlier in the day over urban headgear known as a "Buck Fifty" - a baseball cap with a working watch in it, which retails for $150.

Benson said that after the fight, "one boy kept messing" with Ivy.

"I told him just be calm," Benson said. "I made him promise me he wouldn't fight. He promised me."

But Benson said that as Ivy left the school after the dismissal bell rang, a group of boys approached him about a half-block west of the school, located at 2245 W. Jackson.

"He tried to defend himself," Ivy's best friend said. "By the time I made it to him it was too late."

Durbak said that one student was kicked in the head during the fracas and another "combatant pulled out a gun, fired once and killed this kid.''

Benson immediately called Ivy's mother, who rushed to the school.

When she arrived, her son "was just laying there up against the fence," the teen's mother said. "I just held my baby's hand. Seeing the blood coming out of his mouth I knew my baby was gone."

Friends and family said Ivy was an outgoing young man who loved playing basketball and watching Bears football games. He was the fourth oldest of eight children.

"It hurts. He was my best friend," said his girlfriend, Porter, recalling how Ivy bought her a teddy bear, a card and dinner this past Valentine's Day.

The teen's father, Ruben Ivy, Sr., of suburban Atlanta, said he had feared the worst for his son when he left him behind with his mother on the West Side.

"I was trying to get him down here. I was worried he would be incarcerated or worse in Chicago," the father said.

"I was hoping he could move here this summer."

After the shots were fired that killed Ivy, pandemonium broke out, students said. In the melee, one student suffered a seizure and was hospitalized, authorities said. Another student, Edwin Gilmore, 17, was beaten in the head and chest with a golf club on the school's front steps.

An hour after the shooting, his black jacket still lay on those steps, in a puddle of frozen blood.

Student fatally shot near West Side school

Friday, March 07, 2008 | 10:56 PM

Team Coverage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A shooting near a high school on Chicago's West Side left one student dead Friday afternoon.

Police say a 15-year old was also beaten with a golf club. The victim is in critical condition and underwent surgery Friday night.

It happened in the 2200-block of West Jackson near Crane High School.

"Today at approximately 3 o'clock, at dismissal time, officers in the vicinity responded to shots fired in the area of Crane High School. In the investigation an individual was found, a juvenile, who was shot and has since succumbed to his wounds. As a result of that, we also had another individual that was beaten with a golf club. He also is a student of Crane High School ," said James Jackson, first deputy superintendent.

Friday, March 07, 2008 | 10:56 PM

Team Coverage

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A shooting near a high school on Chicago's West Side left one student dead Friday afternoon.

Police say a 15-year old was also beaten with a golf club. The victim is in critical condition and underwent surgery Friday night.

It happened in the 2200-block of West Jackson near Crane High School.

"Today at approximately 3 o'clock, at dismissal time, officers in the vicinity responded to shots fired in the area of Crane High School. In the investigation an individual was found, a juvenile, who was shot and has since succumbed to his wounds. As a result of that, we also had another individual that was beaten with a golf club. He also is a student of Crane High School ," said James Jackson, first deputy superintendent.

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Paramedics took two people from Crane High School to Stroger Hospital. The deceased young man has been identified by his family as 18-year-old Ruben Ivy, a sophomore at Crane High School.

Several students told ABC7 that tension has been brewing all year long between three or four gangs inside the school. Police confirmed the situation was gang related.

Ivy's family says he may have known gang members, but the gang members were the problem.

"The gang bangers at his school was bothering him. He was tired of fighting. He got to defend himself. So he was fighting the whole time he was going to Crane," said sister Deven Green.

Ivy's mother said that police told her that the gunman called her son by name just seconds before pulling the trigger and firing the fatal shot.

"They said there was a fight at school, and they said, you know, he was just on his way to come home and one boy just walked up to him and just shot him in the chest," said Emily Green, victim's mother.

Police are saying they have no one in custody, although a number of students tell ABC7 they know -- by name -- who pulled the trigger. Police also say they know who they are looking for - another teen.

"We have a person of interest, and we're comfortable that, pretty soon, there is going to be a conclusion to this," said Jackson.

Emily Green, a former Crane student herself, said she dropped out after she was shot in the foot. She also says this is the second child that she's lost. Her first son died in a car accident in 2002.

Students say the scene was total chaos, up and down the block. One said a crowd of people, as many as 50, were fighting, includingthe use of weapons.

"I just come out of the building. All I see, a crowd of people run up, bats and all. I was like, man, I need to get out of this jam," said student Quinton Rodgers.

Police say there was a dispute at the school Friday morning apparently over a baseball cap. They're trying to see if that's related to the shooting and beating.

Police are now checking out the security cameras that are in place up and down the block... And community leaders are calling for the violence to end.

Emily Green, meanwhile, is surrounded by family, mourning her son's loss.

"I have a lot of nieces and nephews and friends. We're going to miss him very dearly. I'm trying to be strong for the rest of my kids," she said.

Ivy's family says he had gone to police for help. Police say they will investigate that allegation. They also emphasize that officers are assigned to the school to protect the students and would never dismiss a student's request for protection.

Now, with Ivy's death, it's clear that students feel uneasy.

"I stay to myself. You know what I mean. As far as being comfortable, no, not really," said student Joey Smith.

October 2, 2009 at 9:31 PM

By: George N. Schmidt

Huberman lying about violence

Ron Huberman is lying about the violence inside schools, and the Chicago Police Department is helping him. I could give a few examples from this year, but one will suffice.

On the first day of school, I received a phone call from a mother inside Washington High School who told me six girls were in the main office, bloody and scratched up from a girl fight in the school. She said there were three squad cars out front. She also said that a boy was jumped at the school, his backpack stolen, and the cops were taking a report.

I called South Chicago Police District and asked about the incidents, including number of arrests. I clearly identified myself as a reporter, and the officer who took the call said, "Fuck you!" and hung up.

I wrote to CPD Office of Media Affairs. That was a month ago. I'm still waiting for the answer. Either there were a "Fuck You!" number of problems at Washington High School first day of school, or none.

We also found out first hand that CPD was killing crime by reducing felonies to misdemeanors. An ag battery becomes "theft."

It's straight out of The Wire, but not a joke. At this point in time, the word has gone down from the top of CPD that the stats are to be juiced, reporters to be ignored, and the city is to be made to look good no matter what.

Meanwhile, at CPS, the new regime in Safety and Security is making a joke out of both. Michael Shields buries a school in police and white jacket security people anytime something happens away from the school, ignores the problems as they build up inside a school, and is generally clueless about the histories of what went before the Huberdynasty. His job is to help with the cover up.

It's been more than a month since I began keeping my "In BOND age" file of questions that Monique Bond has refused to answer or ignored. It's getting to be hard work even asking the questions, since her job, too, is simply to cover up and spin every story for the Huberkids who are tyrannizing the system's top administrators every Friday morning with that ridiculous "Performance Management" nonsense (cost: $5 million this year alone, while schools are being gutted next week -- again).

These people are dangerous to everyone. Don't think their lies and coverups began for the Olympics and will end now that Chicago has been disgraced internationally.

They are a new development -- taking tyranny to a "new level" -- even for CPS. And they will not stop until they are stopped. Certainly they won't be stopped by City Hall, which is behind the whole thing and gave the nod to the Huberegime adding $10 million in new bureacuracy (which I'll report next week) in this budget, while screaming "deficit."

Like the man said in "The Wire", "I understand how you can make a rape an 'assault' and an ag battery into a misdemeanor — but how do you hide a body?"

Of course, he got fired for doing his job.

Which is just about how it works in Chicago, too.

The two things I see at 125 S. Clark St. that I haven't seen so widely in all my 40 years covering the schools of this city is the fear in most of the eyes. I'm sure that same fear existed during previous reigns of terror and tyrannical regimes.

But this "data driven drivel" (er, management) is unprecedented, partly because my brain dead media colleagues have either sold out completely (the Sun-Times, for example) or are so numbed in the face of numbers that they don't know what they are looking at.

Which is probably why none of them went to the budget hearings on August 17, 18, and 19. What's the point if your math skills ended with borrowing and adding decimals.

That's enough for one bedtime story.

There are lies, damned lies...

And "data" from Chicago and its public schools leaders.

October 2, 2009 at 9:39 PM

By: Kugler

Dunbar HS shooting 2009

here is another shooting.

Teens in Dunbar HS shooting recovering

January 10, 2009 1:26 PM

http://www.chicagobreakingnews.com/2009/01/gunshot-injuries-reported-outside-high-school.html

At least one of the five teenagers who were wounded in a drive-by shooting outside Dunbar High School on the South Side Friday night remained hospitalized this morning, Chicago police said.

Authorities have said the shooting was gang-related and that they don't believe any of the victims attended Dunbar.

A young man stands on the corner of 29th and Martin Luther King Drive, across the street from Dunbar High School (background) where multiple people were shot. (Tribune / Charles Cherney)

The gunshots rang out from a passing sport-utility vehicle about 8 p.m. as a high school basketball game was underway at the gym in Dunbar, 3000 S. Martin Luther King Dr.

"These people drove up and fired into the crowd," Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis said Friday night news conference. Officials declined to describe the vehicle they were searching for, or the assailants.

"We've got some positive leads," Weis said. No one had been arrested as of this morning.

Witnesses on the scene described a gory scene, with victims of the shooting on the ground bleeding, some near the school, others at a nearby bus stop. A sixth person, a girl, was injured in a fall during the melee and was taken to a hospital to be looked at.

"The people who got shot, they were just lying on the ground," said Tierra Buile, 16, a Dunbar sophomore, who saw two male victims shot in their legs in front of the school.

The shooting victims, all males between 15 and 18, were believed to be in stable condition, authorities said.

Three were taken in serious-to-critical condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, University of Chicago Comer's Children's Hospital and Stroger Hospital, said Eve Rodriguez, a Fire Department spokeswoman. Two others were taken in fair-to-serious condition to Mercy Hospital.

Late Friday, police said Stoger Hospital doctors were treating a 15-year-old youth in serious but stable condition with multiple gunshot wounds.

This morning, at least one of the victims remained hospitalized while the rest had been treated and released, according to police.

"We do not believe that any of the victims were students at the school," said Monique Bond, a police spokeswoman.

One Dunbar student described a frightening scene outside her Bronzeville neighborhood school as she saw a silver truck pull up to a bus stop at 29th Street and King Drive.

Shaneisha Turman, 15, a freshman at Dunbar, said she was standing in the doorway of the gym when she saw the occupants of the truck pretend to shoot and then "they really started shooting."

She said she saw two people fall wounded.

People were shouting, "They're shooting!" Turman said. "It was a lot of people shouting and running."

Jason Moore, 18, said the game against Hope College Prep High School was tied in double overtime when shots were heard outside. School officials immediately canceled the game.

"We heard the bullets," Moore, who graduated from Dunbar last year, said. "We heard the shots."

Investigators are reviewing footage from the school's surveillance system, said Chicago Public School security head Andres Durbak.

--Kristen Kridel, Andrew L. Wang

October 15, 2009 at 7:57 AM

By: Frustrated

Struggle

I did notice that some reports,in the regular press, briefly mentioned the problems with students displaced by charter schools(turnarounds, fadeouts) and how they have to cross gang lines to go to school using public transportation. It wasn't enough! I'm wondering what will wake people up,and regular press, to the realities of what is really going on? It is so upsetting and frustrating! Why is it such a struggle to get people to listen and act?

October 15, 2009 at 8:16 AM

By: truth seeker

getting people to listen and act

The struggle of getting people to listen and act begins with validating people themselves to think about problems and come up with solutions. This would be the true role of someone properly trained in community organizing and development.

One problem is that it's impossible to get funding for this kind of work. In Chicago, two funders pay for community organizing work, and this is only at a very minimal level- $3000-$5000 per year, not generally beyond one year. How do you create a sustained effort at helping people overcome their sense of powerlessness under these conditions?

Another problem is that the test-driven curriculum of CPS assures the education of future generations of masses of sheep, rather than empowered citizens. Anything creative which could spark the inspiration and initiative of masses of people is or has been largely quashed.

And a point which Substance brings up regularly is the conspiracy of the conventional media and the existing teacher union leadership to ensure that critical questions are never asked.

With this perfect storm of disempowering rot, it should be no surprise that there is a culture of helplessness and despair.

If something could be done to create a physical telecommunications infrastructure under community control and management, a media entity to provide critical and reflective news and commentary over this infrastructure, combined with a cadre of organizers to help people learn about the actions that are possible- maybe we could see some change.

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