Below is a section of the thank-you card I received from juniors at the Gwendolyn Brooks College Preparatory Academy in Chicago. The card was a sweet surprise. I will treasure it.
Brooks is a selective enrollment public high school nestled on 40 acres near the Historic Pullman District on the far south side. It
made the news this spring when Chicagoâ€™s most famous selective high schoolâ€”Payton–initially forfeited a baseball game. Apparently some Payton parents were nervous about driving their kids down to Brooksâ€™ campus Mayor Emanuel made a point of visiting the rescheduled game, which I hope Â shamed some people.
The forfeit was really stupid, since my most frightening experience at Brooks occurred when some angry geese hissed at me after I accidentally approached their young.Â Donâ€™t laughâ€”these birds can really mess you up.*
I addressed an assembly of the junior class. We covered the whole gamut related to youth violence: gun safety legislation, drug legalization, efforts to help young people improve their self-regulation and social-cognitive skills. I then shared a long lunch with about twenty students. It was a great time with the students and staff. I hope to come back.
I was inspired by the visit, but a bit saddened, too–not by anything at Brooks, but by the contrast with other places. Continue Reading…