Parent escorts hope to protect high school students from violence

April 28, 2008
Volunteers in Chicago walk and ride with students from school where student was killed last month

Ever since one of their classmates was shot down just a block from school last month, a group of sleepy-eyed teenagers from Crane Tech High School in Chicago has been meeting in the early morning at a community center southwest of downtown to walk to class together, hoping there is safety in numbers. Parent volunteers, part of a program call Operation Safe Passage, guide the trip to school in brightly colored vests and ponchos, shepherding the students onto a city bus, through a transfer, then to the school gates. But that is not all--the police come, too, trailing the walking procession and the buses in a squad car. Every morning, the same routine, repeated in reverse after the dismissal bell. And yet there is still fear.
Click here to read The New York Times article.

FROM MARCH 2008: Despite an enormous police presence, including a special escort for some students to and from school, nearly half of the students at Crane Tech High School in Chicago didn't show up for classes ON the first day back after spring break. One-day attendance dipped to 52.8 percent -- even less than the 55.2 percent average attendance for the entire week after a Crane junior was shot to death a half block from the school. (Chicago Sun-Times)

EARLIER: Blockaded streets, security guards, police officers and cameras can't keep a lid on tensions fueled by decades of gang rivalry at Crane Tech High School in Chicago. The rapid-fire burst of violence March 7 that killed one students and injured others was a reminder of just how hard it is to come up with a security solution at the troubled campus. (Chicago Sun-Times)

New police patrols are headed for several troubled Chicago public schools, and about 50 other officers now in desk jobs will follow in an attempt to stem the rash of violence claiming a growing list of young victims. The action comes after a series of shootings in city neighborhoods, including last week's melee at Crane Tech High School, during which one student was fatally shot and another critically injured in a beating.
Click here to read The Chicago Tribune article.

DeVonte Smith, 15, a sophomore at Crane Tech, has been charged as an adult with first-degree murder in the shooting death of Ruben Ivy. Police allege that Smith pulled out a gun after classes were dismissed on Friday and fatally shot Ivy in the chest. Smith did not give a statement to police, but was identified as the assailant by at least 12 witnesses, prosecutors say. To read The Chicago Tribune article, click here.

Ruben Ivy, 18, was shot to death Friday outside Crane Technical High School in Chicago moments after the dismissal bell rang. Authorities say the shooting was “shocking’’ because of the high level of security at Crane — both in manpower and technology. The slaying occurred in full view of one of five Chicago Police cameras stationed within a block of the campus, which is heavily patrolled by police and school administrators at dismissal time. (Chicago Sun-Times)

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