‘This American Life’ Takes Uncanny Look Into Chicago High School

This American Life reporters from spent months inside of one Chicago high school as the trauma of the city's gun violence unfolded.

By Jamilah King Feb 18, 2013

In light of the reporting I’ve done recently on gun violence in Chicago, I want to quickly point folks over to this week’s segment on This American Life. It’s actually a two part series that follows students, faculty and staff at Chicago’s Harper High School as everyone tries to make sense of the city’s escalating gun violence. What’s remarkable, outside of the type of access they reporters were able to get, are the surprising ways in which everyday life is completely turned upside down because of the trauma of violence, and how those rituals become completely normal. I’ll try to avoid giving away any spoilers, but there are poignant scenes in here in which seemingly ordinary things like walking home from school or planning a homecoming dance are made maddeningly difficult because of the threat of violence.