School Safety

Lots about school security -- in fact that's pretty much all I could find.  CPS is obviously trying to make clear that schools are safe places and that there are enough resources for officers etc. in place. 

Parents struggle to talk to their kids about shootings Sun Times: Parents in the Chicago area sent their children off to school with a little more anxiety than normal Monday.

Cops: Teacher overhears discussion, prompts lockdown at South Side school ... Tribune: Marielle Sainvilus said though DuSable High School students are on winter break now and were not affected by the incident, a CPS representative was sent there and was working with police.

Security chief vows no further cuts in uniformed cops at CPS high schools Sun-Times:
The security chief for Chicago Public Schools vowed Monday to absorb a $5 million cut in annual security funding with no further cuts in the 153 uniformed police officers permanently assigned to high schools. “We will not be impacting the number of full-time ...

CPS sees positive results from new safety measures Chicago Parent: Chicago Public Schools announced in a press release today that the number of in-school arrests related to the most serious infractions was reduced by nearly 25 percent during the 2011-2012 school year compared to the previous year.

CPS Parents Nervous as Kids Return to School After Connecticut Shooting DNA: Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett ensured parents that the school district takes school safety seriously. "It is with immense sadness that I extend condolences to the families and loved ones of those affected by this incomprehensible traged..."

Parents Weep as Principal Discusses Increased Security Plans DNA: Oscar Mayer Magnet School will tighten building security and plans to hold lockdown drills.

Parent Patrol Ordered Out of Brighton Park School DNA: New security measures surprised a volunteer parent group.

Filed under: Daily News Roundup


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  • Here ya go: At schools, an upsurge in mental health crises
    / Calls to the state’s mental health crisis hotline for children have soared in recent years. The increase has been fueled largely by schools, now often the first line of defense when a child exhibits severe mental health problems. Experts point to cuts in community mental health services and more children experiencing the after-effects of violence and trauma as factors prompting the increase in hotline calls. / By: Sarah Karp / December 10, 2012

  • Yep, they're safe alright. So safe that the security guards are doing recess duty. No one is watching the front door. So safe that school clerks are supervising lunch and not the office. Not enough places for kids to have recess, they're out on the front lawn or near the alley. Doors open all over letting kids in and out for each recess period. Guaranteed something will go down here in Chicago, but of course, CPS will blame the teachers!

  • wow=same at our school. we have to send security away from the door for perimiter trecks--we have doors open due to recess and clerks are acting as security. our security guard is also the traffic cop and the school crossing person. we have classroom doors that do not lock nor do they close.-our school is not slated to close--one outside door is so rusted, you can kick it in. there are no security cameras. 36 kids with 1 recess teacher with 112 children out every 20 minutes and kids are running into the street to retreive their foot balls. We do not have secuirty present for the new longer day and no money for it. Our volunteers quit because parents swear at them.
    correct--cps will put this on the schools and give no help or support. jadin chou was on chgo tonight and they must have given her the questions ahead of time. ...we do this for the schools, we do that with the CTU and leaders-no you don't miss Chow--no you don't.
    The tragedy in Conn is way beyond the one secuirty guard CPS gives elementary schools, but CPS must face facts that they have made schools more vulnerable with the longer school day/longer lunch and recess, and allowing elementary school larger than high schools only once guard, (& high schools don't have the recess), but no addtional man-power security or supporting the schools buildng to be better protected. It is the board that is responsible for this--wait--it is the mayor. Is security is an issue where their children go to school?

  • instead of bbb-cps giving school tangible resources to support our security needs we get sent links to 7 websites. wow
    thanks for the assitance.

  • Discipline in Chicago Public School high schools is a joke. The new SCC, is so watered down, that students can get away with just about anything. There is an incredible amount of swearing at adults, running around the building, overt displays of gang affiliations,etc. that take place on a daily basis. When administration is questioned about this, they reply that we need to try "restorative justice" first? URGH!

    Many of the worst gang bangers in the school are not disciplined because they have IEPs, this is really causing major problems at many high schools. The dean always states, that we don't want to use up the 10 days, on one incident. The Law department doesn't exactly like to give extensions on this. Schools are becoming insane, I have seen major gang brawls take place and students are back in the building a couple days later, because of the 10 day limit. Rod do you have any suggestions to help with disciplining the gang bangers, that have IEPs?

    Students need to be held accountable for their actions, but under the current SCC, and other policies, this is not happening. As a result, students keep testing their boundaries. If they tell a teacher to f&^% off and get away it, maybe next time they will try worse.

    In terms of security, they are somewhat helpless, why should they try to help or risk bodily harm, if administration just lets the students off the hook.

  • In reply to Euclid:

    I am in Aspen Co and why I got on 299 is a mystery to me (probably because I am too hyped to sleep from my flight), but I am glad I did because the questions being raised by Euclid are important. I experienced a totally out of control discipline situation as a teacher at Calumet High School in the late 1980s, and our high school massively suspended both disabled and non-disabled students. We violated the ten day suspension rule which I will explain below. The new CPS discipline code is not the problem in my opinion.

    Massive suspensions did not solve our problems at Calumet, in fact one AP died from a heart attack dealing with discipline issues, our security team was a joke and male teachers regularly were pulling students off of each other stopping hallway fights. We had a good number of students killed within blocks of the high school and there was a shoot out on 79th and May between some of our students. Our collapse was complete and it led directly to Calumet being closed and turned into a charter which has its own issues.

    The ten day rule is not a cap on suspensions for students with IEPs, it triggers what is called a determination meeting for further suspensions or services. But IEP teams should not be waiting until students with IEPs, in particular students identified as emotionally behavior disordered, are repeatedly suspended before a determination meeting is held. What the team needs to decide for a student with an IEP who is defiant and is repeatedly being disciplined is does that student need to be in a more restrictive placement first within the existing school.

    What does that mean within a CPS general high school? Right now there are not really effective restrictive placement options within high schools, what you have are special education classes by subject areas called instructional classes. The students in these classes move from room to room just like all other students.

    In order to create an effective restrictive placement option at least one highly restrictive placement classroom needs to be created. Every academic class is brought into that one room and the students do not exit it to change classes. At all times there are at least two instructional aides in the classroom with a certified special education teacher at a no more than 10 to 1 teacher ratio. The students in the classroom should all be getting direct social work services and in some cases other services too. There should be a direct link to some type of work related vocational program for each of these students. All the students have lunch together under direct supervision, PE together, Art, etc.

    Such a highly restrictive placement is legal and to be honest its actually better for students than repeated suspensions. The use of such classrooms should not become effectively a death sentence. The hope for each and every one of the students who might need such a highly structured program is that they be very gradually be transitioned back into some less restrictive classes.

    If some students placed in such a highly restrictive classroom are still out of control then a private special education placement needs to be seriously considered. But what does it take to implement such a model?

    It takes money, staff, and direct support from CPS central. But that is not forthcoming and it wasn't forthcoming when I taught at Calumet either.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Euclid:

    I was told by the law department to treat each day of suspension for a student with an IEP as if it was a "brick of gold". If a student was BD and their act of misconduct was a part of their IEP, you could not suspend them. I was able to get extra days over the 10 days several times from the law department after jumping thru many hoops.

  • what does a behavior plan matter, when all your students have one?
    where can a positive peer behavior model exist when the peers have negative behavior problems?

  • This from a comment:

    107. Pam Allen | December 18, 2012 at 10:15 am

    From my friend and a great educator, Tahira DuPree Chase, her wrenching and profound message about the real work of teachers, and how test scores are no measure:

    “…Let’s take a moment to acknowledge the heroic teachers and school leaders who went beyond the call of duty (and some even gave their lives) to protect children… Over the years, the teaching profession had been ridiculed and disrespected. To date, the profession is still viewed negatively as the nation equates good teaching only to test scores. It is time to pay homage to teachers and school administrators who sacrifice their own well-being each and everyday for the betterment of children. If Victoria Soto, Principal Hochsprung, Ms Rosseau and other Sandy Hooks educators were firefighters they would be called “fallen heroes”. Had they been in the armed forces, they would receive the medal of honor. Had they been politicians, the nation would mourn the loss and call their murder an assassination. They are teachers; people who have the greatest impact on the future of our nation. A test score cannot measure the effectiveness and dedication of those Sandy Hook educators… Each and everyday, millions of educators give their very best to children…. Test results only measure a small percentage of what teachers and administrators accomplish on a daily basis. The heroic acts of the educators at Sandy Hook who comforted the children, hid children in closets and bathrooms, read stories to children so they would not hear the horrific sounds of murder, acted as human shields and told the frightened students they were loved must resonate in the heart and minds of those who do not regard teaching as a real profession and only view teacher effectiveness through a single source. I am stunned at how educators are regarded in this nation, yet applauded and celebrated in other countries. It is time to acknowledge the real heroes and heroines, the real first responders (who break up fights, mend wounds, provide academic and social intervention and redirect inappropriate behavior), and the true soldiers who are constantly on the front line…”

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