Now Arne Duncan Wants to Have a Conversation With Daley on School Violence?

The incompetency index keeps on rising for the Obama administration. Suddenly President  Obama’s heads in the justice department have teamed up with the Department of Education to address school violence. What a long way we’ve come if all of a sudden the nation’s top administrators are forced into action by the public murder of 16 year old Fenger High School honor student Derrion Albert.

Here is the action plan as iterated by Secretary of Education Arne Duncan:

“Chicago is not unique. Four students have been shot in Tulsa, Oklahoma already this year. Philadelphia, Seattle, Miami, New Orleans, and many rural communities have also lost schoolchildren to violence in recent weeks. And the cost goes far beyond the immediate victims and their families. When children are fearful, they can’t learn. And if they can’t learn, then we are all at risk, because our future depends on the quality of education we give our children.

“This morning, Attorney General Eric Holder and I started the conversation with Mayor Daley and with faith and community leaders. We talked with elected officials and school officials. We also met with Fenger students and parents and the principal. And the students — it was amazing — were united in the request for one thing. They want mentors. They want more adults in their lives who care about them. They’re extraordinary children at Fenger, and they want us to meet them more than halfway.

They want mentors? How about leaders?

Arne Duncan was the Chicago Public School CEO under Mayor Daley. One would think he may have had that “conversation” with him about this prior to now. I am not sure what Duncan did while in Chicago concerning gang violence. It is true however that he was concerned about a different kind of bullying that began with a “g” when Duncan tried to secure a gay friendly school in Chicago out of concern for the threatening environment confronting this one special segment of society.

Meanwhile the Chicago Sun Times published one of many articles on school violence, in this case detailing how children from Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood were “afraid to go outside”. I mention Little Village and it’s Little Village academy because the school is one of the frequently touted success stories of Arne Duncan’s term as Chicago School CEO. This story emanated during August 2008 which was at the end of Duncan’s term.

‘I can’t go outside’

Many Chicago kids are scared to go to the store. Others avoid stepping off their block or going to the park. Fearing for their safety because of guns and gangs, they’ve lost the freedom to play.


Eleven-year-old Maria Rivera is afraid to play in front of her own home.

She spends much of her free time indoors, alone with her mom. Fear of the guns and gangs that plague her Little Village neighborhood has left Maria virtually a prisoner in her own home — an image she drew for a fifth-grade social studies project. Her artwork shows a little girl standing in front of a barred second-story window, looking down at gang-bangers, a drug deal and a shooting on the street below.

“I feel like a prisoner because I usually can’t go outside,” said Maria, who just completed fifth grade at Little Village Academy.


In a Chicago Sun-Times survey taken in May, students were asked how their lives would be different in a city with no guns. A clear patttern emerged. Almost a third of fifth- through eighth-graders indicated that their everyday movements have been severely limited by the specter of gunfire.

Kids reported that they are afraid to go to the library or run to the store. Many indicated they have been robbed of one of the fundamental joys of childhood — freedom to play.

Like Maria, other children also said in effect, that they feel trapped — penned in — by fear for their own lives. Violence has shrunk their world — and, as a result, their life experiences.

Keep this in mind when you consider that Arne Duncan appointed gay advocate Kevin Jennings to be the nations point man on school violence. From what I can tell Jennings has a one track mind on violence and it doesn’t involve the illegal man/boy sort of violence that was actually reported to Jennings while serving the nation as an out of the closet teacher. Jennings advised the 15 year old boy to make sure he brought a condom for his illegal sexual adventures with an older man. So Jennnings is Duncan’s back door man on the effort to create a more gay friendly environment in the schools but it is unclear if Jennings has any qualifications to actually confront the kind of gang violence that has become an epidemic in inner city schools and out into suburbs.

Ever notice that the mainstream media isn’t mentioning Kevin Jennings in this conversation? Wonder why? Isn’t he the man that is supposed to be dealing with this? After all, he is the Assistant Deputy Secretary in the Office of Safe Schools. Just gotta ask.

Meanwhile, this week’s submissions for the weekly Watcher of Weasels contest in search of the week’s best articles and they are a great lot. Please read and pass these excellent articles on to your friends. Come back on Friday for the results!

Council Submissions

Non-Council Submissions

Update I: I mixed up the non-council submissions with an earlier contest. This post has been updated to fix the error!!! – The Watcher

Update II: MISSING SUBMISSIONS!!! Hi. It appears that there was a snafu in the submissions process and I missed two very important submissions from Soccer Dad.

Please read Soccer Dad’s council submission: Why did Israel jail the pregnant woman? and follow up with his non-council submission: Rubin Report – Life in a Fourth-Grade American Classroom: The Friendship Worksheet.

My apologies to Soccer Dad. These are important articles and I would hate to miss any submissions. – TW

2 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. Soccer Dad
  2. Right Truth

Comments are closed.