CHICAGO – Responding to a wave of teen violence and the brutal killing of honor student Derrion Albert, the Rev. Jesse Jackson hopped on a school bus to escort students to the troubled Christian Fenger Academy High School.
Jackson joined a host of parents Tuesday morning to usher students across neighborhood boundaries on their way to Fenger. Rivalries between Fenger students from the Altgeld Gardens housing development and those from Roseland, closer to the school, have led to near-daily fights and incidents of stalking and harassment.
“This is a state of emergency,” Jackson said at a press conference before boarding the bus.
Neighborhood tensions escalated to fatal violence Sept. 24 when Albert, a 16-year-old Fenger student, was killed in an after school melee. Footage of the fight caught on a cell phone camera caused national outrage, prompting President Obama to dispatch cabinet officials to Chicago to address teen violence and release emergency federal anti-violence funding for Fenger.