Father of beaten student talks, community rallies against violence

March 8, 2008 9:18:49 PM PST
City and community leaders issued another call Saturday to stop the violenceA teenager was shot and killed outside Crane High School Friday, becoming the fourth Chicago Public School student killed in the last week and the 18th in the current school year.

Ruben Ivy was 18 years old and a sophomore at Crane when he was murdered. Police say they know who shot him and are questioning a person of interest.

During the same incident, another student was beaten with a golf club.

Just back from visiting his son in the hospital, the father of the beaten student shared what he knows about the violent end to the school day Friday at Crane High School.

"Somebody was trying to induct him into a gang. He wasn't in a gang, but he was coming out of the school when he was hit," he said.

We're not identifying this father by name in order to protect his 15-year-old son. That young man was among a group suspended last week for fighting.

"His mom had just bought him a hat, and someone wanted that hat, that's where the problem came in," the father said.

He said his son is now struggling for his life because of a hat.

Chicago's Mayor Daley was joined by several others Saturday in calling for an end to the senseless gun violence. There was anger and frustration over the problem at the rally.

The gathering was a community's latest attempt at fighting back against that which continues to claim their future. Neighborhood children, their parents, and city officials rallied at Paul Revere Elementary School for an end to gun violence against youth.

"If the shooting and fighting stop, then people could play outside late, and we could walk anywhere and feel safe," said young student Dakota Brown.

The rally came after a week of violence which robbed four Chicago Public School children of their lives, including Ivy, who was gunned down on the steps in front of his school Friday in what police say was a gang-related incident.

"We don't set long-tem goals. Now, we just try to get through the day. That's our goal. Get through each day," said Tommy Bosley, who lost his son to gun violence.

While investigators say they have a person of interest, police officials say a greater presence is not the only answer to the gun violence problem.

"We cannot have a police officer escorting every student around. We have to do other things. We have to rely on technology. We have to rely on parents instilling the correct values in the chidlren," said Supt. Jody Weis of the Chicago Police Department.

School officials say they are doing what they can to keep kids safe, but admit they need help.

"We need more community centers, and parents have to step up," said Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan.

" I'm angry at parents who do not take care of their children, do not raise their children, do not know where their children are," Fr. Michael Pfleger said.

Mayor Daley blames the gun lobby and what he calls a lack of political courage on the part of certain elected officials for not having tougher gun laws.

"You send your child over here or over there and you think they're safe. They're not safe as long as America is in love with guns," the mayor said.

Chicago Public School officials plan on having crisis counselors on hand at Crane High School Monday to help students, teachers and staff cope with the shooting death of Ruben Ivy.

The other student beaten with a golf club during Friday's attack was recovering Saturday after being taken to the hospital in critical condition.