First day of added “Safe Passage” routes; Complaints, concern remain

The first day of school has come and gone in Chicago, but the complaints remain. Layoffs, budget cuts and safety concerns are still top of mind at schools around the city.

53 new “Safe Passage” routes were added and brought the total to 92.  But that is still not enough protestors claim.

At Cather Elementary this afternoon, a visit from Mayor Rahm Emaneul was not enough to appease a protestors on a steamy first day of school.

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Lamyah Jones high-fives a Safe Passage worker as her mother, Tatiana Kimble, left, walks with son Marquise Johnson to Laura S. Ward Elementary School in the West Garfield Park neighborhood.
( Alex Garcia, Chicago Tribune / August 26, 2013 )

They worry that 12,000 affected children finding their way to  and from new schools, as dictated by the district, could be dangerous. Chicago’s police superintendent Garry McCarthy reminded the public that the city has its lowest murder rate since 1965. Shootings or potential crimes near “Safe Passage” routes –like a body found in an Englewood trash can this morning, just a half block from a “Safe Passage” zone–should not influence the success or failure of the overall plan.  The yellow vested city service workers, 600 paid new hires, and parents walking these routes will make the difference, he says.

“This is true community policing,” McCarthy said.  “In and out of school.”

Parents with questions, comments, or suggestions related to Safe Passage or any CPS matter can call 773-553-3223.

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