August 27, 2013
The Chicago Board of Education (CBE) marked 13,000 students in 400,000 public schools as participants in the Safe Passage (SP) program designed to protect those children while they headed to their first day of school.
SP routes were pre-established and staffed with 600 trained workers, Chicago police officers, firefighters, city workers and volunteers from the community.
Dwayne Truss, representative with West Siders Against School Closings (WSASC) said that “it illuminates the fact that, in our community, that violence is real, and that none of these signs, the Safe Passage workers, are going to be able to stop a bullet.”
This public display is a ploy by the CBE is earn more funding for their next fiscal year by making it appear that they care about the safety of the students that attend the schools within the district.
Chicago Public Schools (CPS), the CPD and residents worked in tandem to create the SP routes, and organized the march.
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ordered sidewalks repaired and the replacement of street lights, graffiti painted over and the boarding up of 300 abandoned buildings en route for the SP march.
Making this display a photo opportunity was part of the scheme.
Emanuel said that the SP routes were about “building a route to college, career and beyond . . .”
Last May, Emanuel ordered that closing of 50 elementary schools; describing his move as “a new chapter” and “a new beginning.”
This decision would force students to walk through gang boundary areas known for violent eruptions.
The next move as for the CBE to have a public initiative to protect the students who were placed in danger by the Mayor of the city.
Of course, the SP routes were created. And what a public relations circus it turned out to be.
The schools that were not shut down were provided with “improvements, including upgraded air conditioning and new libraries and computer labs.”
One day before the SP march, a 28 year old man was shot along the same route. Another incident had a 14 year old boy shot and killed just a block from a local school that is included with the welcoming school program.
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have formed school safety measures, allocated federal funding for such measures and training to teach school officials and bus drivers to the vulnerabilities concerning school campuses.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has formed the Homeland Security Grant Program (HSGP) will be used to purchase “equipment, training, and other efforts to support school security.”
DHS, FEMA and the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) are working with public school districts under the US Department of Education (DoE) to develop safety guidelines and make sure they are adhered to under the Incident Command System (ICS) for schools.
The course outlines:
• Familiarizing you with how ICS principles can be applied in school-based incidents.
• Preparing you to interface with community response personnel
The Secret Service and the DoE have established the Incident Command System that specifics certain student behavior that should be monitored and focuses on prevention of possible acts against the establishment.
In 2002, a study on school shootings and other such attacks was performed with the assistance of the DoE. School violence was analyzed as far back as 1974 through 2000 with 37 incidents involving 41 students. Records were provided by the police, schools and courts; including interviews with several school shooters. The focus of the study was to identify preemptive communication and behaviors to monitor with the “goal to identify information about a school shooting that may be identifiable or noticeable before the shooting occurs, to help inform efforts to prevent school-based attacks.”
According to the study these attacks are preventable with students participating in those prevention efforts. The Secret Service and the DoE revised the Secret Service Threat Assessment “approach for use in schools – to give school and law enforcement professionals tools for investigating threats in school, managing situations of concern, and creating safe school climates.”