Drug gangs advertise while Chicago covers up real source of increased gang murders... Clout covers up for massive gang problems, tries to blame schools for city's failures

Chicago continues to destabilize its inner city general high schools and remaining community public schools in a way that only facilitates the increase in drug gang violence that is generating more and more inaccurate headlines about "students killed" as Chicago's warm weather begins.

And now that Arne Duncan heads the U.S. Department of Education, it's likely that Chicago will export many of the same Big Lie stories that sold here in recent years.

Students at Chicago high schools are posting photos like those above on MySpace and FaceBook. The students above are permitted to bring their outside gang activities into many Chicago general high schools, while the city claims that the drug gangs' murders are a public school problems rather than a problem caused by Chicago's long history of neglect of the drug gang problem. Substance photo provided anonymously.This report, however, is a quickie on one of the Big Lies stories -- "student killed."

For the past five years, with the general cooperation of Chicago's corporate media, Chicago has shifted responsibility for the deaths of young people from the city's failure to eliminate the huge drug gangs to the schools. Like other teacher bashing, privatization, and deregulation strategies pushed by Mayor Daley and his corporate supporters, the "Student killed" series of stories, now going into their seventh or eighth year, are designed to ignore the underlying social, economic and political realities and make the public schools the focus of the "problem."

Post to District299 .com

Earlier I posted the following to District 299, the blog that is read by many Chicago school teachers, parents, and administrators.

It begins with an accurate quotation from a Chicago Tribune story (Sunday, March 15, 2009) and goes on to discuss how the media and civic policy of reporting these drug gang crimes as "public schools" stories has enabled the city to avoid responsibility for a decades' old situation that has grown under two generations of leadership by the name of Richard Daley.

The blog material all appears in italic type below here.

According to the Chicago Tribune: "...The problem expands far beyond just public school students, none of whom have been killed in recent years on school property during school hours, police and school officials said..." (Carlos Sadovi's article in the Sunday March 15, 2009, Chicago Tribune).

The problem is that the media have joined CPS and Mayor Daley in teacher bashing and public school bashing with this "public school student slain" stupidity for the past five years. It's just one of the many crimes of Richard M. Daley and Arne Duncan against common sense (but with a carefully crafted talking point -- PUBLIC SCHOOLS ARE DANGEROUS!!! -- stuck in the middle like an erection in a convent). So Daley (along with all his echo chambers from CPS to Father Pfleger) says the problems is "guns" and a "culture of violence" and not gangs and a culture of drug gangs that has infected more than half the city because the Daley family allowed it to expand across three generations and five decades.

Although "Girl Gangs" have long been a part of Chicago's drug gang culture, they have been growing in recent years. The young ladies above, who posted this and other advertisements on MySpace, tell others they are part of the "Ten Trays" (for 103rd St.). The "Ten Tray" gang is reportedly a particular problem for schools on Chicago's far south side. Substance photo provided anonymously from a confirmed source.The drug gangs are involved in most of the dead kids in Chicago every year -- not the city's public schools.

If anything, the public schools are one of the last safe havens in many communities. Meanwhile, the local politicians (at least half the city's aldermen) use drug gangsters on election day (and other times) and even some local churches keep their doors open through subsidies that track back to those who are serving up on a nearby corner. The drug gang problem in Chicago (and the greater Chicago area) is ten times more terrifying than the problems depicted so eloquently in the PBS series "The Wire" that ended a year ago. But "The Wire" depicted Baltimore and helped cleanse Baltimore, while the hypocrisy of Chicago continues. "Student shot dead..."

Propaganda against public schools foisted by Mayor Daley, Tribune, other corporate media

But let's look more closely at each new report of the story of a student killed by drug gangs. As the Tribune points out, these students are not being shot at their schools, so why are the schools a part of the story at all? What the @3#$% are you doing putting "student" in that headline when the kid was shot dead at midnight on a Saturday night near a drug corner run by the Vice Lords? Was he there for a calculus study session before returning to his high school to graduate and go on to be a Wall Street Investment Banker?

Maybe Chicago schools new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Ron Huberman will actually take a close look at the problem and come up with some solutions. After all, Huberman is a former police officer. But Huberman's slavish adherence to the lies of the Daley administration makes that unlikely.

As to Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis (a former FBI agent with no Chicago policing experience) -- that's a joke.

Three months before he was appointed U.S. Secretary of Education, on September 8, 2008, Chicago schools Chief Executive Officer Arne Duncan (above left) presided over a media event at Chicago's Dyett High School. Like most of the media events Duncan orchestrated during his seven years in charge of the public schools of the third largest school system in the USA, the September 8 event ignored the existence of the largest number of drug gangs in the USA and placed the burden for solving the city's massive gang problem on the students and teachers of the Chicago Public Schools. In covering up for Mayor Richard M. Daley, who appointed him CEO despite his lack of educational experience or credentials, Duncan was simply following orders. Instead of a drug gang problem that was out of control across half the city, Chicago redefined the problem as a problem of "violence" and the death of "public school students." The corporate media joined in the redefinition of Chicago reality, to the detriment of both the truth and the city's public schools. Above with Duncan are the Principal of Dyett and (far right) Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis. Substance photo by George N. Schmidt.Last Fall, Weis announced, at a major media event, that CPD was establishing what students quickly called a "snitch line." Supposedly a way of bringing high tech into the fight against school violence, the project quickly became a local joke. What people said was that Weis's snitch line is a sure fire way to get kids killed. I was at that silly press conference last Fall at Dyett when Weis and Duncan announced the number to call. Then they announced that students who called in crime tips would get a "reward". Then they announced that all calls would be "anonymous." Then someone asked how they could give an award if the calls came in anonymously.

And everyone stared at everyone else. Now that the warm weather has hit, the drug gangs are kicking it near a dozen general high schools, from up north to way out south. Weis's slavish devotion to Daleyism is a danger to most people on the streets of the city's most dangerous communities -- including many of his own officers.

Huberman undercover at 103rd and Elizabeth, then over by I-57?

If Ron Huberman wants to learn what is really going on, he'd get out of that three-piece suit and drive out to Julian. Once there, he could wait until either of the two times that classes get out. Just hang out on the corner (or, better yet, ride one of those CTA buses he used to be in charge of). Stand on the I-57 overpass for a couple of afternoons as the children frolic in the Spring sunlight.

The following week, he could head over to my old security stomping grounds, Bowen High School. Half the days of the week now, as school lets out, things are kicking from the south end of Bessemer Park all the way up to 87th. But instead of doing that, Huberman will be holding summits and hosting media events with crooks like St. Sabina's Michael Pfleger. Meanwhile, he'll be destabilizing more communities by closing schools that are working (e.g., South Chicago Elementary) to push through more privatization and boutique schooly thingies...


A "Renaissance" and "Olympic" city can't admit it has spawned the largest drug gangs north of Tijuana

Orders from the 5th Floor at City Hall. Renaissance 2010 and all that "New Schools" stuff.

When CPS allows drug gangsters to operate with impunity inside 50 or more elementary schools and dozens of high schools, the tragedy is that so many decent teachers, families and kids are subjected to these terrorists. But the only thing this Renaissance and Olympic city wants is to cover up this intense corruption.

At least, in one news story, the Chicago Tribune noticed that these kids who are winding up dead overnight and on weekends are generally (there are a few tragedies, but far from the majority) not hanging out on a corner at midnight doing service learning work or prepping for the Advanced Placement calculus exam.

More to tell.

The photographs that accompany this article were provided to Substance by an anonymous source and are accurate. The young people depicted in the photographs were not in school of in a public school activity at the time they took the photographs, or when they posted them to MySpace. These are not Halloween costume parties, however. Every day these young men and women act out their gang banger fantasies in the real world of Chicago's public schools. For them, the main movies they are using to learn about the world at "Colors," and "American Me," "Clockers" and "Boyz in the Hood." As the girls become more powerful within the major gangs and also form gangs of their own, a strange type of equality has been building.

Substance will continue to post stories such as this one, along with materials such as these photographs (which are two of more than 30) as Spring erupts across Chicago and the legacy of the Daley decades and the ruthless teacher bashing and privatization orgies of the Duncan years (2001 - 2008) continue to take their tolls on Chicago's neighborhoods and children. 


March 18, 2009 at 1:20 PM

By: Kathleen Roberts

retired assistant principal

Well- do you real think anyone will listen to you. When they started shifting the west side gangs into Wells High- we all knew it was over for that school. Now you had the west side gangs, the noble gangs, the cabrini green gangs and the puerto rican and mexican gangs at the school. And how surprised they were that the school had major fights. The new principals got rid of the support staff that knew the gangs and what to do about them- but nobody cares! Do you get it yet? NOBODY CARES! The lies keep coming, the schools get more violent and yet- the staff at these schools seem to prevent killing in the schools- but NOBODY CARES- these are just minority students and not the brightest, so NOBODY CARES! They spend money on consultants etc, who have not improved the schools- but have cost money and stopped good teachers from having time to teach- but NOBODY CARES! NOBODY CARES!

March 19, 2009 at 9:34 AM

By: George N. Schmidt

Caring, truth, and gangs

Actually, many of us wrote about what would happen to Wells (and Clemente, etc.) before it happened. In June 2004, I organized the testimony in opposition to the closing of Austin and Calumet high schools. The opposition was unanimous, and our speakers warned that the gangs would disperse across the West side and south side as a result of the dispersal.

Unfortunately, the people who were coming into power in the Chicago Teachers Union, one of whom had been at Wells High School, were more interested in CTU patronage than in continuing that fight, and most people who were at Wells went along with that plan, for whatever reason. As a result, the Stewart administration fired me, abolished the office of school security and safety at the CTU, and allowed the gang mess to get bigger and bigger. Then, a year later (after throwing out the materials I had gathered to help the union fight the gangs), they hired a guy named Rick Perrote to not do the job of security and safety -- and against the gangs.

During those years, at Substance we continued to document and publish the terrifying results of the great sellouts of 2004 and 2005. Sometimes we got help (off the record) from people at Wells. Every time, for example, that Wells had some rejects from Noble Street dumped on them, we heard about it. However, for the most part, the Wells "family" was silent about it, since they apparently thought they could do better using their clout elsewhere.

Wells was not the only school undermined by the charterization of high schools that followed all the "closings". The list is very long at this point.

Austin High School (2004)

Calumet High School (2004)

Englewood High School (2005)

Collins High School (2005)

Harper High School (2008)

Orr High School 2008)


It's not that NOBODY CARED.

It's just that most of the people who had the facts were either compromised by clout or cowards. There is a big difference. While it's nice to see some people who had the information four years ago speaking out now, it will be nicer to get it all and put it into print. Everyone who comes to this site knows how to contact Substance. Those who, four years ago, slandered us instead can still make up for it by telling the truth, now.

We've been very patient.

But NOBODY CARES is not the truth.

The truth, sadly, is much less edifying.

March 19, 2009 at 8:12 PM

By: Marricat

Retired teacher


I agree with you but I'd like to add that in some cases, people cared but felt powerless to change the situation. Those with power knew what would happen and let it happen and that's what I think is the real crime.

September 15, 2009 at 3:53 PM

By: gokrtmozart


Hmmmm .... I could have swore tht things like assult, possession of firearms, controlled substances, extortion, etc were POLICE matters.

If these kids need "social" help, get it to them.

The reason I have lost patience with these thugs is: I see too many students who WANT to learn have to put their education on hold because I and other school staff have to deal with some disruption caused by some thug.

If I can do something to help turn this young person's life around for the better, I'm "all in." But, NOT at the expense of the students who WANT to learn.

Students who WANT to learn should not have to wait, hold-on, or be patient for one ssecond due to the antics of some disciple, king, hustler, person, folk, or general pain-in-the-a**.

If these kids don't want to go to jail, try the other option:

Don't gang-bang.

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