Leonetta Sanders, principal of Harper High School, recently spoke with WBEZ about the toll widespread violence is taking on Black Youth in Chicago.
As a principal, Sanders has a unique and heartbreaking perspective on the gun violence that is robbing us of our youth. 27 of her current and former students have been shot; 8 killed in the past 13 months
It’s a harrowing, sobering glimpse at the tragic reality our young people are facing every day.
“SANDERS: Starting last June I started a binder, known as the Harper High School Victim and Offenders Binder. One day after—and I can’t remember which incident—I just started a list….’
LaMont Goggins, Marcus Nunn, Deondre Alexander, Cedric Bell, Sergio Penex, Brian O’Neill, Darius Farley…
Sanders’ list stretches across two sheets of paper. It’s 27 names total, all current or former Harper students. Nineteen shot. Eight dead. One school year.
Near each student’s name, Sanders marks down gang affiliations if she knows of any, or details about the death. Like “shot sitting on porch.”
Damary Ward, Jaw Gresham, Kajota Sanders, Raymond Fuller…
SANDERS: As I wrote the list, tears just ran down my face. Because it’s different when you see it like this. When you see the total number of students in one high school that have been affected by gun violence.’
Deshaun McKinney, Dartanyon Stevenson, Kamal Brown, Treshawn Thomas, Excel Moore…
SANDERS: And I sit back and I just say, Wow. Is anyone else looking at this data? Because every couple of weeks I’m adding another name.
Dashon Mapp, Jamal Wiley, Paris Smith…”
The widespread violence must stop!
How do we break the cycle of violence in our community?
Sound off below!