Violent deaths are a scourge in Chicago among school-age children, especially on the South Side, where I had once lived in my childhood (Walcott Avenue to be exact). It’s become a statistic to keep track of: the number of school-age children who are murdered, sometimes on school grounds, during a school year, which means the academic year is properly hyphenated. The punctuation gives bone to the unholy facts, but it also creates another set of suburban record-keeping to conjure with. In other words, it makes the reality more abstract, a bit easier to study as citizens.
This is an excerpt of what I've written on violence among school-age kids in Chicago, which has attracted national attention. It's published now in Religion Dispatches
, in case you're interested. Many thanks.