I was listening to a This American Life podcast when a special came on about Harper High School in Chicago, Illinois. Last year 27 students were shot at Harper High School. A startling statistic. This American Life asked to put three journalists in Harper for five months, an entire semester, the school agreed.
This two-part series is two hours of heart-wrenching stories and a sick realization of what some people go through daily. You should listen to these stories, it’ll give you perspective and an absolute appreciation for where we live.
With 16 security guards for 550 approximate students Harper High School is still understaffed when it comes to security. How many security guards did your high school have?
Everyone in this neighborhood is in a gang. You can’t avoid it. Whatever street you live on signifies what gang you’re affiliated with. If you don’t want to have any part of the gang interaction you have to stay in. Literally. They talked to one boy who hadn’t left his house at night for several years. Could you imagine going through high school without leaving your house at night?
By the sounds of it, This American Life picked the worst high school in the United States to do a story on but that’s hardly the case. The end of part two is a chilling realization of what high school is for some kids. You must listen to the end.
Give it a listen, you won’t regret it.
Photo Credit: This American Life