Covering Chicago's Back-to-School Season

Students Rush Out of Chicago School To Avoid Area Violence

Teachers, students ordered out of Dulles School of Excellence right after class lets out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    After a nearby shooting, administrators at a Chicago school enacted an "efficient dismissal" policy that gets kids and teachers out of the school right after the final bell. (Published Friday, Sep 13, 2013)

    In response to safety concerns after a nearby shooting, students and staff at a South Side Chicago school were temporarily ordered to clear the premises immediately following daily dismissal.

    Parents were told that beginning Sept. 6 students must be picked up from Dulles School of Excellence promptly at 3:30 p.m. Teachers also were told to exit the school and only return if there were students who hadn't been picked up, administrators with the Academy of Urban School Leadership said.

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    Shootings aren't the only issue near the school. There's also the possibility of retaliation from nearby gangs.

    "There was a memorial for a high-profile individual last Friday," AUSL managing director Shawna Hayes said, "so we coordinated with Safe Passage so we decided to have a very efficient dismissal."

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    Some parents said they felt students were being shuffled out of the school.

    "That doesn't make Dulles look good at all," parent Versie Bridges said.

    Many others were glad the school decided to take the precautionary step.

    "We don't want any of our little ones getting injured or fatally hurt," parent Qudus Odunsi said. "That means parents have to step up and get here on time."

    Afternoon football practice was moved to mornings, and the location was changed from a field located in gang territory two blocks away. Mayor Rahm Emanuel was on hand Friday to open the new field.

    School officials said no after-school programs were canceled, and the efficient dismissal has ended. Administrators are discussing whether they'd use it again.