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