Covering Chicago's Back-to-School Season

Parents Bemoan Lack of Safe Passage Details

First day of school is Aug. 26

By Nesita Kwan
|  Thursday, Aug 8, 2013  |  Updated 6:21 PM CDT
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With just three weeks until the start of the school year, many parents say they've gotten little to no information about the expanded

With just three weeks until the start of the school year, many parents say they've gotten little to no information about the expanded "Safe Passage" program. But CPS officials say their preparation is right on track. Nesita Kwan reports.

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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.

"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.

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