PHILADELPHIA— Each morning just before school, Dawn Hawkins and her 13-year-old son Khyrie hold hands, close their eyes and bow their heads.
“Be a shield of protection for my baby,” Hawkins prays over the lanky 8th grader.
Then it’s off to his new school: a 15 minute walk through Strawberry Mansion, one of the most violent neighborhoods in Philadelphia, in the most murderous section of the city. The school is a little less than a mile from home. But it could well be foreign territory.