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Chicago Schools, Police Increase Measures To Curb Youth Violence

Chicago Schools Violence

First Posted: 03/21/11 03:44 PM ET Updated: 05/25/11 07:40 PM ET

In the second year of a high school anti-violence initiative, Chicago Public School officials are left wondering one thing: Are these efforts working to save kids' lives?

In Chicago, nearly 700 children were hit by gunfire last year and 66 of them died, NPR reports. That number is up from the previous year, even though the total number of homicides in Chicago fell to a 45-year low last year.

CBS reported that last week, with spikes in temperature, 19 people were shot in 48 hours. As melting snow gives way to more street activity, the city and schools are looking to take new proactive measures to stop violence before it starts.

As part of the evolving anti-violence initiative in schools, principals and police now communicate about brewing trouble.

Mayor Rahm Emanuel also has made student safety one of his top priorities.

Terry Mazany, acting CEO of Chicago Public Schools, tells NPR that although none of the homicides involving young people in Chicago in recent years actually happened on school grounds, they can't ignore it.

"We live in a city, and in communities, where we have students who are exposed to extraordinary risks in their lives," Mazany says. "We play a particular role in where we see that we can help to assure the safety and well-being of a young person. That's important."

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Filed by Jessica Prois  |