Fenger Students Allowed to Transfer

Ten students haven't attended South Side school since fatal beating of honor student

Tuesday, Dec 1, 2009  |  Updated 3:15 PM CDT
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Ten Fenger High School students -- who have not attended the Far South Side school since the fatal beating of 16-year-old Derrion Albert -- will be allowed to transfer immediately, the students’ attorney said Tuesday.

The decision came following a settlement conference in U.S. District Court on Tuesday morning, according to attorney Christopher Cooper. The students can transfer immediately to one of four schools: Carver Military Academy, Morgan Park Academy, Lincoln Park Academy or Julian High School. All are located on the Far South Side except for Lincoln Park.

The students, ranging in age from 14-18, filed a civil suit on Nov. 10 against CPS, claiming they were being deprived of their constitutional right to a public education and could not attend Fenger because it was “too dangerous.”

Although the transfers were approved, Cooper said the case continues on the basis of whether any constitutional rights are being violated.

"The remaining issue is whether or not the students' constitutional right to a free public education is interfered with if the high school is unsafe," Cooper said.

He is considering filing a class-action suit, which could also involve students at other schools deemed "unsafe."

The suit named CPS and the Chicago Board of Education as defendants. A status hearing will be conducted at 11 a.m. on Dec. 16, Cooper said.

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