Chicago parents and activists are holding a march today- dubbed Walk the Walk – to draw attention to the “distances, safety concerns, and overcrowding potential” facing students displaced by the closing of over 50 Chicago Public Schools.
Around 8:30 a.m., the Raise Your Hand Coalition-led walk began in East Garfield Park at King Elementary on 740 S. Campbell and headed to the proposed receiving school, Jensen, at 3030 W. Harrison. The walk is roughly less than a mile and passes by Altgeld Park.
Parents say along their walk, they’ll pass abandon building, drug paraphernalia, vagrants and ex-offenders, according to Fox Chicago. It’s those dangers parents say their children will pass every day on the way to school should CPS shutter King.
Last week, parents invited Mayor Rahm Emanuel to join them on their walks to see first-hand the dangers facing their children. Tweets from the event indicate Emanuel was a no-show at the early morning walk from King.
Meanwhile, CPS chief of security and safety Jadine Chou says she is working closing with Chicago Police to coordinate safety routes for children displaced due to the closings.
Chou says CPS will pay community watchers to monitor the routes, and that these routes will constantly be refined and altered as problems arise to ensure the safety of students.
“We will work to find appropriate coverage for children who are a bit tardy” and for those who participate in after-school activities, Chou added.
For the 35 high schools and four elementary schools in the Safe Passage program, there’s a conference call every morning between Chou’s team and the police to discuss any new safety issues along the routes.
The routes can change daily depending on concerns such as gang activity, a gas leak or a fatal accident, Georgas said.
“If something pops up on social media or a principal reports a concern he heard from a student, we are on the phone with the commander and chief of patrol to make sure we have the right plans for dismissal,” Chou said.
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