Before this disappears from the U. of Chicago website...
Background: Bill Ayers was a Weather Underground domestic terrorist, having participated
duringthe Vietnam War era in bombings including the Pentagon and U.S. Capitol, and other
buildings. After living underground for 10 years, he surrendered to police, then was
acquitted on a technicality because investigatorssupposedly engaged in improper surveillance
methods. He is guilty of the dirty deeds - it's just that a stinking judge let him off.
Nov. 6, 1997
Vol. 17, No. 4
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Close-up on juvenile justice
Author, former offender among speakers
By Jennifer Vanasco
Children who kill are called "super
predators," "people with no conscience," "feral pre-social beings" -- and "adults."
William Ayers, author of A Kind and Just Parent: The Children of Juvenile Court
(Beacon Press, 1997), says "We should call a child a child. A 13-year-old who picks
up a gun isn't suddenly an adult. We have to ask other questions: How did he get the
gun? Where did it come from?"
Ayers, who spent a year observing the Cook County
Temporary Juvenile Detention Center in Chicago, is one of four panelists who will speak
on juvenile justice at 6 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 20, in the C-Shop. The panel, which marks
the 100th anniversary of the juvenile justice system in the United States, is part of
the Community Service Center's monthly discussion series on issues affecting the city
of Chicago. The event is free and open to the public.
Ayers will be joined by
Sen. Barack Obama
, Senior Lecturer in the Law School,
who is working to combat legislation that would put more juvenile offenders into the
adult system; Randolph Stone, Director of the Mandel Legal Aid Clinic; Alex Correa,
a reformed juvenile offender who spent seven years in Cook County Temporary Detention
Center; Frank Tobin, a former priest and teacher at the Detention Center who helped
Correa; and Willy Baldwin, who grew up in public housing and is currently a teacher
at the Detention Center.
The juvenile justice system was founded by Chicago
reformer Jane Addams, who advocated the establishment of a separate court system for
children which would act like a "kind and just parent" for children in crisis.
One hundred years later, the system is "overcrowded, under-funded, over-centralized
and racist," Ayers said. Michelle Obama
Dean of Student Services and Director of the University Community Service Center, hopes
bringing issues like this to campus will open a dialogue between members of the University
community and the broader community.
"Students and faculty explore these issues
in the classroom, but it is an internal conversation," Obama
said. "We know that issues like juvenile justice impact the city of Chicago, this nation
and -- directly or indirectly -- this campus. This panel gives students a chance to
hear about the juvenile justice system not only on a theoretical level, but from the
people who have experienced it."