Chicago Expands Program to Help Students Get to School Safely

CHICAGO — As Chicago Public Schools prepare to close 54 campuses, the district has dedicated $16.1 million to expand its Safe Passage program, which is aimed to help students arrive safely at their new schools.

Realizing that younger students may be caught in the crossfire of gang conflicts, the district implemented the program, which will have adults stationed along key routes and contact police if any problems arise, the Associated Press reports.

CPS began a less formal version of the Safe Passage program in response to the fatal beating of honor student Derrion Albert in 2009. In the past two years, school officials said that crime has dropped 20% in the immediate area of the 39 schools that have Safe Passage. Additionally, since implementing the program, attendance has increased.

The district hopes to expand the program to all 55 “welcoming” schools, which will take in students from schools that have been shut down. Additionally, the district will also invest in cameras, metal detectors and alarm systems. All school will also have an individualized safety plan.

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