09/01/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

For CPS Students, Graduation Is The Goal, Staying Alive The Prize: 258 Students Shot Last Year

CHICAGO -- The bonding moment between Veronica Tinajero and the student she calls Big Sunshine came during one of their first meetings.

"Have you ever been shot?" the student, a high school senior, asked. When Ms. Tinajero replied no, he looked genuinely amazed and said, "Wow, almost everybody I know's been shot." Later, he ticked off a list of his own bullet wounds: upper thigh, left hand, scalp.

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