A Fenger High neighbor who subs in city schools and whose wife taught there tells “Why they fight at Fenger” in a ChiTrib letter today, explaining at one point:
At Fenger, the Altgeld Gardens area is called “the dirty 130’s.” Altgeld students came to Fenger several years ago when Carver High School in the “Gardens” was changed to a military academy.
The conflict started when Altgeld students were sent to Fenger. This tension has been going on for a very long time. But every year, many of us noticed that the feuding escalated.
There were many times my wife expressed her concern about the tension among the students. There are always fights going on in the building.
He goes on to urge that adults “instill some moral and spiritual values in our children.”
But if they don’t, isn’t it better that kids go to school in their neighborhood, where they don’t run into outlanders?
This is the school and neighborhood where a kid was beaten to death with a board (not shot, as most South Side killings occur). Wouldn’t it be a matter of common sense not to mix the two neighborhoods?
But someone downtown — Arne Duncan before he followed Obama to Washington? — had the bright idea of making the Altgeld Gardens area school a selective military academy, and off the Altgeld kids went to Fenger.
If anyone has mentioned this specifically as an important aspect of the Fenger problem, I haven’t read about it.
Later: I better not assume you all know about the killing. It’s here on videotape, if you can bear to look.