Anti-Violence Push Features Slain Student

September 13, 2007

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Chicago Public Schools has launched an anti-violence campaign that features a Julian High School student who was fatally shot earlier this year on his way home from school. More than 30 CPS children have died by violence this year. Chicago Public Radio's Natalie Moore reports.

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The video shows Blair Holt playing basketball in his grandmother's backyard.

The question "Why?" is then imposed on the screen.

Blair, who was not a gang member, died in gang crossfire while shielding a classmate. Since then his father Ronald Holt has been speaking out against violence.

RONALD HOLT: When public violence prevails in our communities, our streets become cemeteries and playgrounds become battlegrounds and war zones.

A choked up Holt says parents need help with their own at-risk children, if schools are going to become safer.

CPS announced today $14 million dollars in new federal grants to the district to support after-school programs.

Officials say these initiatives can help shield students from violence.

I'm Natalie Moore, Chicago Public Radio.