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Obama officials to address school violence in Chicago

Atty. Gen. Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan are to meet with school officials, students and residents in the aftermath of a deadly beating.

October 02, 2009|Katherine Skiba

WASHINGTON — A chilling cellphone video of a Chicago honors student's fatal beating has captured national attention, and President Obama responded Thursday by announcing that two Cabinet secretaries would travel to his hometown next week.

White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said that Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. and Education Secretary Arne Duncan would meet Wednesday with school officials, students and residents and talk about school violence.

"Obviously, [the incident] is of great concern to the president, as somebody who lives in Chicago," Gibbs said. "But [it] would and should be a concern for every American."

Gibbs has indicated that the administration was preparing an initiative to address the national issues of youth crime and gang violence.

Duncan was the head of Chicago's public schools for seven years before Obama picked him as Education secretary. He already was scheduled to be in Chicago on Wednesday morning to attend an education grant conference.

Four teens have been charged in the death of Derrion Albert, 16, a sophomore honor roll student. Officials have said he was walking to a bus stop when he got caught up in a melee near his school.

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kskiba@tribune.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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