Crap Safe Passage Stories

Crap Safe Passage Stories

So I called bullshit on a Chicagoist rewrite of a CBS story about Safe Passage the other day, and have gotten some interesting comments in response since then -- most of them supportive.

The Chicagoist story was about workers quitting Safe Passage, but of course mentioned the violence issue, too.  Both stories are crap, according to me -- hyperbolic, context-less -- though they grab lots of attention and serve both media and CPS opponents' purposes.

Chicago has some extremely dangerous neighborhoods, and people have to live in them and kids have to get to school and home again.  It's entirely possible or perhaps even likely that someone is going to get hurt somewhere near one of the yellow signs during 2013-2014.

Some of you -- media included -- seem like you are almost looking forward to it.

ScreenHunter_14 Sep. 06 11.21Generally, if something happens to a kid or parent on the way to school or home again, I care about that even though it's not a core CPS responsibility.   I've gone back and forth over the years about whether non-school violence should be tied to CPS even when it happens off school grounds and school hours.

CPS has gone back and forth about it as well, highlighting it during the Duncan years and then making it harder to connect nonschool incidents with CPS students since then.  But I understand that there's legitimate concern about safety and youth violence.

However, when it comes to Safe Passage specifically, I don't really care what happens overnight, or over the weekend, or even during the day while the kids are in school but Safe Passage isn't active.

I don't really care about what happens a few blocks away from a Safe Passage route, either.  It's either on the route or it isn't.

Talking or writing about that stuff is just trying to score political points against the Mayor and CPS by folks who many of them are scared and angry about losing jobs and being misunderstood and a shitty economy and all sorts of other things that, again, aren't at heart about kids getting educated.

Or, just as likely, it's some sad/desperate  journalist or blogger trying to get his or her story out there.

Last but not least, let's remember that individual incidents count, but overall numbers count more.  This is true whether we're talking about workers quitting (what percentage of the total, how does it compare to other similar jobs?) or violence (compared to the total number of kids in Safe Passage, or attending those schools, or compared to last year).


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  • Alex is mad as heck at Chicagoist. Using a pottymouth AND posting twice about it. Dunno why this twists his panties so yet other more egregious baloney doesn't elicit anything from the Brooklyn Blogster. Weird... Weirdo... Beardo.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    this is what anonymous trolls do when they don't like what someone else writes -- try and distract from the topic by talking about other things. anyone want to agree or disagree with me on the substance? please.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Alex, your job is to be an obnoxious edu-Glenn Beck. Yes, I anonymously pick on you, but I ain't gonna be the next Xian Barrett.

    You can't be serious about your rage at the use of hyperbole and lack of context- that is your bread and butter.

    You may not care what happens near a "Safe Passage" or on a "Safe Passage" after hours from your base in Brooklyn, but perhaps if you were actually "here" to report instead of "there" where you just blog you would have a deeper understanding of the fears people have regarding "Safe Passage".

    I still don't understand your fury regarding this. You're outrage is vexing.

  • Safe Passage is the new tag-on, just like when reporters used to always cite which CPS high school any poor youth who was a victim of criminal violence did a couple of years ago.

  • Many workers have quit according to the one safe passage worker I know. She told me of a couple of people quitting because of the heat and said they started with 15 workers for there area and now have 7 workers to cover the same area. She also said people were complaining about not being paid even though they only began on the 26th of August and had a couple of days training prior. I want to know why they can't have those workers helping in the lunchroom since the entire staff for the 425 kids at my school was cut to three people. Maybe they can help with recess or school security since there is no staff for that and parents only want to volunteer where it's not as stressful. They are paid for 6 hours and the students are probably out there for an hour and a half at most travelling to school, and an hour at most leaving. Why can't they work in the schools for the remainder of those hours?

  • In reply to tmf929:

    "Maybe they can help with recess or school security since there is no staff for that and parents only want to volunteer where it's not as stressful. "

    What will the union workers who work these jobs have to say about that? Will they allow lower-paid safe passage workers in the building?

  • It is very unlikely CPS will be able to pay for safe passage year after year. We have a school district that is a using $300 million line of credit to make pay roll when needed because its credit rating has deteroiated so much. A district that is taking money that is supposed to be restricted to pay off bonds and budgeting it.

    So I would not worry too much about the program, eventually it will fade away I suspect.

    Rod Estvan

  • In reply to Rdest:

    . . . .a district that is grossly underfunded and asked to do too much with too little . . .a district in City and a State whose taxpayers and legislators are unwilling to pony up to pay the price to adequately fund it. . . . a district that spends way to much time, effort and treasure addressing special interests of all types . . . including unions, special advocates etc. . . . vouchers anyone?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Vouchers anyone? Nah, that is a scam. We shouldn't fund anti-intellectual parochial schools just because we have created a society with too many dysfunctional familes/children. Real support for schools anyone?

  • In reply to district299reader:

    . . . my bet is that parochial schools consider themselves to be much more well-rounded than CPS and CPS to be the real anti-intellectual perp . . .on the question of "real support", talk to the individual taxpayers who won't agree to pay more for what they consider to be a unfocused and losing battle.

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    In reply to district299reader:

    Vouchers will never happen in Illinois. Please stop fantasizing. Also, please provide one study that shows vouchers do anything positive for education.

  • repeat after me.....there is no such thing as safe passage.

  • In reply to Craig Jackson:

    You're right. There never was and never will be. At best, CPS is making going to school safer along these routes. The dangers of today make one nostalgic for the innocent, halcyon days of "stranger danger."

    As long as we have a subcultures with a moral code that permits random shooting of children, our children will never be safe. Chicago needs to rise up with a righteous fury and snuff out these subcultures.

    CPS did not create these dangerous subcultures. They existed before school closings and along the routes that these students used to travel. CPS alone can't be responsible for pushing them out. Our communities must come together to do it.

  • CPS to count enrollment this year on 10th day, not 20th -

  • The gist of this is right. . . there's a cottage industry among media types and those who fashion themselves as liberal intellectual truth-seekers, including CTU "researchers", who are rooting for something awful to happen (so that they may have the pleasure of an "I told you so") and who are unwilling to acknowledge that everybody in this community, including them, has an obligation to make it work . . .the media and the special interests (including CTU emissaries like their researchers, those cretins at Substance "news", RYHI, PURE and others) who sit on the sidelines wishing for a CPS failure in this transition, using kids as props for political ends, are odious beings whose voices should be drowned out by the righteous indignation of the many dedicated teachers and staff who have and continue to make sure that kids are safe and learning . . . against all odds and in spite of them.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    Now look what you've unleashed, Russo! I started with a little crap. But now it's on to cretins. What's next? You'd better put a stop to this before someone posts something really criminal.

  • In reply to Ira Abrams:

    what comes next after cretins? i'm sort of curious.

  • In reply to Alexander Russo:

    after cretins it goes imbeciles, idiots, nimrods, buffoons, and finally beardos.

  • In reply to district299reader:

    "kids as props"- doesn't Emanuel frequently use children as a backdrop?

    ...and by the way when you smear "CTU", remember we are the ones who are truly connected to the children in communities who must take "Safe Passage" to and from school. We have deep relationships with the children we know and work with everyday. To claim that we somehow wish violence upon these children shows how out of touch you are. We are united with our children, you are not. Sorry, but Emanuel, BBB, the millionaire board, Becky Carroll, charter operators, deformers, Garry McCarthy, and the rest of the charlatans have no credibility in the affected communities... but their teachers do.

    You have created a "contest" with your words that purports to show who cares more about the children. Little do you know that in this competition you have created you with your deaf ears and know-it-all attitude lose every single time.

  • If nothing else, we now know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that Alexander Russo doesn't care about the victims in these neighborhoods. It doesn't matter if the crimes happened before or after school hours or off the beaten path of the Safe Passage route. You can't say that you generally care about what happens to children after school hours or off school property, and not care about the children being shot along Safe Passage Routes after school hours. Either you care or you don't.

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    According to Mr. Russo he has "gotten some interesting comments in response since then -- most of them supportive." Please tell me what kind of new math you are doing that shows a majority of these comments are supportive.

  • In reply to Ed Dziedzic:

    i was referring to the chicagoist comments at the time, though i see a few supporters here, too

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    In reply to Alexander Russo:

    Those comments on Chicagoist are hardly from the intellectual elite. Sure you want to side with them? The problem will be that they have to do this Safe Passage every day, all year. And if something happens it is on Rahm and BBB. And I am not eager to see it happen. But it seems like a gamble they are willing to take with other kids children.

  • apparently CBS2 isn't paying attention or doesn't care or agree

    A person was seriously hurt in a shooting near an elementary school early Sunday - CBS Chicago

  • Fortunately we can also read CPS Chatter at

  • From Second City Cop at

    • For the most part, O’Toole [Elementary School] loves the extra security and attention. Perhaps that’s for good reason. During the last school year, the Safe Passage route now drawn to O’Toole, 6550 S. Seeley Ave., had more shootings on it than any other in the city, according to a Sun-Times analysis, with 13 people shot and three murdered.

But the O’Toole community is totally skeptical about how long the attention will last.

Especially since Mayor Rahm Emanuel spent part of the first day of school at O’Toole Elementary, walking a little girl to school along the new Safe Passage route. Police, firefighters, city inspectors and community workers were out in full force that day, Aug. 26. A police helicopter hovered overhead during the mayor’s visit. A streets and sanitation worker even painted fire hydrants as children headed to school.

By the second week of school, the mayor is gone, as is the overhead chopper.
    And in another two weeks, the cops will be gone, too. At least the "extra" coppers drawn from all over the city, HQ, inside spots and PPO's who haven't even sat one day with a Field Training Officer. And all for what? And at what cost?

  • Just another Russo “Crap Safe Passage Story”

    Chicago girl’s rape near a school ‘Safe Passage’

  • In reply to district299reader:

    nope, this one was for real -- tragic, awful -- you seem to be celebrating the violence, though.

    my point was merely that the press shouldn't be reporting that night-time and weekend violence that happened on unmanned safe passage routes -- which they were, and which they mostly stopped doing.

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