Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. said today that the visit to Chicago by U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan will help provide "a crucial response to the escalating crisis of youth violence in our city." The two Obama cabinet members will meet with school officials, students and residents and talk about school violence.
"I am pleased and encouraged that Attorney General Holder and Secretary Duncan are in Chicago today to discuss the violence that has shattered the lives of too many young people and their families. I hope that their visit will be the first step in putting together an intensive, comprehensive and long-term national strategy to stop the violence and protect our young people."
The visit by the Obama administration officials comes days after the funeral service for 16-year-old Derrion Albert. The honor roll student was walking from school to a bus stop when he was caught in the middle of a gang fight and beaten to death. Derrion was a junior at Christian Fenger Academy, located in the Second Congressional District of Illinois.
Jackson said, "I'm heartbroken about the fatal beating of Derrion Albert. It's horrifying and chilling to think that a walk from school can turn into a march to death. So, as we continue to mourn Derrion's killing, we now must come together, roll up our sleeves and swing into action."
Derrion was the third youth to die violently this academic year and the 67th since the beginning of the 2007 school year. Hundreds of others have been victims of shootings or severe beatings on their way to and from school. "I'm committed to working with clergy, parents, educators, activists, law enforcement and other elected officials to come up with plans to prevent the violence claiming our children. Enough is enough" Jackson concluded.