— First lady Michelle Obama will meet privately Wednesday at the White House with 26 students from Harper High School as a follow-up to an emotional meeting in Chicago two months ago in which the students bore witness to the epidemic of gun violence.
As President Barack Obama entered his second term and seized on gun control as a top agenda item, the first lady expanded her own portfolio to highlight the problem of gun violence, including on her native South Side.
She made a poignant visit to Harper High on April 10, weeping during a private meeting with 22 students as they told her how they had been traumatized by guns.
For two hours she heard story after story about students dodging bullets, avoiding gangs and trying to stay alive. One teen participant said later that every one of the students in the session had been affected by violence.
The April visit came after a trip home in February to attend the funeral of Hadiya Pendleton, a 15-year-old King College Prep honor student slain not far from the Obamas' home a week after taking part in the president's inaugural festivities.
While in Washington, the students are visiting the monuments, Howard University and the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, a Chicago Public Schools official said.