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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.

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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.

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.

No trouble was reported on Monday morning, police said.


"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."

Adrian Carrasquillo is the White House correspondent for BuzzFeed News and is based in Washington, DC.

Contact Adrian Carrasquillo at

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