14:12 3 November
Chicago's kids are watching friends and family die. Teachers ' strike can finally help them out.
Chicago's kids are watching friends and Chicago
Chicago, United States Of America
CHICAGO— As he heard the gunshots, Demetrius was playing in the park by his school. They came fast, and close, as his panicked mother hurled him into the car.
Shortly, we discovered that the suspect was Tyshawn Lee, a 9-year-old boy who was shot and killed at a point-blank range in the nearby alley. He and Demetrius, 9 at the time, were close friends.
Even in a city where gun violence is so prevalent that kids sometimes walk past police tape on their way to school, Tyshawn's death weighed heavily on Demetrius. The day after the killing, he balled up in the corner of his house, rocking back and forth and saying that he was scared for his life, his mother said.
Students in Chicago's toughest neighborhoods are dealing with a kind of trauma that is unfathomable to most people who have grown up in safe communities: gun violence, housing instability, domestic conflict. Yet they have less access to health and mental wellness services than many of their peers in richer families and neighborhoods.
That could soon change. The 11-day Chicago teachers strike, which ended on October 31, won a contract for teachers that includes one of their most important demands: an increase in support for staff, and in particular for social workers and nurses in every school.