CPS Liar-In-Chief Becky Carroll claims it's all good and that plans are on track to smoothly shift students from 47 schools being closed this year to nearby schools. But the Trib reports that, Safe Passage routes have not been released to parents. Several vendors hired to carry out the Safe Passage program said they have not received maps of the streets they will be patrolling. Also, a full complement of workers is not yet in place, with many in line for jobs awaiting background checks.
"Our concern is that we do not feel adequately staffed," said Laura Bass, program manager of Ebenezer Community Outreach. "We would like a minimum of 20 people."In the federal hearing over the CTU-backed lawsuit, Jadine Chou, CPS' head of safety and security, said she did not believe the students whose schools have been closed face increased risk going to a new school. "We are taking steps to pre-empt any potential risks," Chou said.
But gang expert John Hagedorn said he doesn't think the program is enough to protect children from gang violence. A criminology professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago, Hagedorn said school closings will aggravate tensions in many communities.
"This is appearance management," said Hagedorn, who recently testified in a federal hearing on a Chicago Teachers Union-backed lawsuit fighting the closings. "They are managing the appearance of safety, but the reality of safety isn't there," he said. "You're saying you're doing something, but none of the things they've proposed are going to deal with rival gang members angered over people coming on their turf."