CHICAGO — Community activists are making efforts to prevent an expected “teen takeover” Wednesday at North Avenue Beach.
It comes as Chicago Public School students wrap up the school year.
A press conference held Wednesday morning announced the success of the “Parents For Chicago” communication line. The line was introduced in mid-April by Activist Early Walker, and there has been a lot of collaboration with the Chicago Police Department and parents across the city.
The service allows parents to receive messages about gatherings their children may be attending and to help prevent their kids from getting involved in those events to begin with.
“We want everyone to be safe and not get hurt,” Walker said.
Thousands of parents have already signed up, sharing hundreds of messages and information that thwarted at least three planned “takeovers” over Memorial Day weekend.
Another “takeover” is planned for 2 p.m. Wednesday because it is the last day of school for Chicago Public School students, Walker said.
There was a visible police presence at the beach Wednesday afternoon and bags were being checked.
Some beachgoers who spoke with WGN News said they are ok with the checks.
“I don’t mind it,” Julian Negron said. “Not a bad thing keeping an eye on everything, especially with the events in the past here.”
Anyone interested in signing up for the text alerts can text “Chicago Kids” to 2-1-0-0-0.
The group is also hoping to get some donations for the service because they are paying the bill themselves for everything.
The texts are about 5 cents a piece and about 8,600 people are currently signed up for the alerts.