Mayor Daley Visits South Shore High School

by  , Youth Reporter from South Shore School of Leadership

Editor’s Note: The following article was written by a youth reporter who is a graduate of the Urban Youth International Journalism Program.

“Stop the code of silence: Silence kills” was the message Mayor Richard M. Daley wanted to get out to the public Feb. 9, 2010.

South Shore High School library was jammed packed as news crew set up their cameras to document the mayor’s press conference.

Everyone anticipated Daly’s arrival, scheduled for 10 a.m., but 11 a.m. struck, and still no Daley. At around 12:15 p.m.

Daley arrived, along with Superintendent Jody Weis. Father Michael Pfleger, a Catholic priest and activist, arrived later along with some aldermen.

Daley’s message was plain and simple: If you see a crime, report it.

“One of the most troubling parts of the violence against our young people is the code of silence in many neighborhoods that protects the gang bangers and drug dealers who are killing our children,” he said. “It must end.”

After Daley spoke, religious leaders from all over Chicago discussed ways for citizens to speak out against gang violence.

A video was shown that depicted families who had been victims of violence. That’s when emotions erupted; the families on the video were actually present in the room.

One family’s son had been shot to death after leaving his church choir rehearsal.

All sounds ceased except for snuffles from the noses of the parents who cried as the video stopped.

The mother of the child shot to death outside church approached the lectern. She took a deep breath and began to tell about her son.

She said he had been involved in many activities and had been on his way to college.

She couldn’t finish her story because she started to cry, and she passed the mike to her husband.

“I thought my son was safe at church,” he said, with tears streaming down his face.

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