Chicago Children Escorted Through Gang Boundaries By Hundreds Of Guards On First Day Of School

The city hired 600 workers at a rate of $10 an hour to supplement a Safe Passage program.

1. Thousands of Chicago children who had their schools closed last year were escorted to new schools Monday, under the watchful eye of hundreds of guards meant to protect them from gang boundaries, the Associated Press reports.

AP

2. Chicago Public Schools, the nation’s third-largest school district, closed almost 50 schools last spring in the hopes of improving academic performance and saving millions of dollars. Nearly 12,000 students were affected.

The Associated Press / AP

3. A radio station’s analysis of Chicago crime data found that in 2013, there have been 133 shootings and 38 homicides in newly christened Safe Passage zones.

Scott Eisen / AP

4. While Chicago has its share of financial issues, it has put considerable efforts into protecting children from gang crossfire:


With the hope of preventing problems, the financially strapped city hired 600 workers at a rate of $10 an hour to supplement a Safe Passage program that has existed since 2009, — launched the same year a Chicago honors student’s beating death was videotaped. Police worked with residents and CPS to map out routes near 52 of the so-called “welcoming schools” that are taking in students from the closed schools. Along those routes, the city has put up scores of “Safe Passage” signs.

5. No trouble was reported on Monday morning, police said.

AP

“I think it’s just show-and-tell right now,” said Annie Stovall, who walked her granddaughter, 9-year-old Kayla Porter, to Gresham Elementary School, which is about five blocks farther from home than Kayla’s previous South Side school. “Five, six weeks down the road, let’s see what’s going to happen.”

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