U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Oct. 7 pledged federal support to fight a surge in youth violence in Chicago and other cities, calling the brutal beating death of a teenager on the city’s South Side a wake-up call for the country, reports the Associated Press. But neither offered specifics or outlined any new strategies on how the government would help quell the increase in the number of violent deaths among teens. Duncan and Holder were sent to Chicago by President Barack Obama to meet with officials, parents and students from Christian Fenger Academy High School after the vicious beating of a 16-year-old sophomore whose Sept. 24 after-school death was captured on a cell phone video. A study on youth violence funded by the Department of Justice and released Oct. 7 found that 60 percent of respondents had been exposed to violence in the past year, and nearly half had been assaulted at least once, Holder said. Exposure to violence included a range from minor to serious incidents. Obama’s administration has asked for $25 million in next year’s budget for community-based crime prevention programs, and Duncan said an emergency grant of about $500,000 would go to Fenger for counselors or other programs…

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