With just three weeks until the start of the school year, many parents say they've gotten little to no information about the Chicago Public Schools' expanded "Safe Passage" program. But CPS officials say their preparation is right on track.
"Very shortly -- Monday, as a matter of fact, -- Chicago Public Schools will be mailing out to our welcoming school parents a back-to-school mailer that will include the Safe Passage maps," explained CPS Chief Safety and Security Officer Jadine Chou.
Parents like Jeanette Taylor, who has two children in CPS, remain skeptical about the program, which aims to keep a watchful eye on students as they pass to and from school.
- CPS Beefs up Safe Passge as School Year Approaches
- Chicago Parents Worry About Dangers of School Closings
"It's not finished," she said. "[Officials] haven't sat down with the parents and the people in the community to really talk out a really safe plan for these kids that are going to be walking through gangs, drugs, killings [and] prostitutions."
Taylor said parents remain in the dark about who exactly will be watching the children along Safe Passage routes. Chou said the guards will vary in occupation. An important component, she said, is that they're aware of the neighborhood.
"They have a familiarity with what's going on on these routes, and they are able to work with the police department and the principals," said Chou.
The first day of school is Aug. 26.
- May 13: Firefighters Ordered to Provide Safe Passage for Kids
- April 13: CPS CEO "Walks the Walk" for Safe Passage
- March 21: CPS to Shutter 54 Schools in Closure Plan