Tuesday, August 10, 2010

CPS hotline for students signed into law...

By Gov. Pat Quinn yesterday:
Chicago Public School students will be able to tip police off about after-school fights and other violence anonymously via a new hotline, signed into law by Gov. Quinn today.

Backers hope the hotline, due to be set up by January, will encourage students to break the code of silence protecting gang members and help prevent shootings and fights like those that claimed the lives of Fenger High School student Derrion Albert in September last year and 13-year-old Robert Freeman on July 29.

“We want the violence to stop and the silence about the violence to stop,” the governor said before touring the troubled Roseland community — where Freeman was shot as many as 22 times — with Rev. Jesse Jackson and other ministers.

State Rep. Monique Davis, who sponsored the bill, said “a lot of kids knew what was going to happen” the day Albert was killed, adding, “they didn’t know it was going to be Derrion Albert, but they knew there was going to be a big fight.”

The hotline could help in situations like that, she said. It will be answered by Chicago Police officers and all calls will be recorded, she added.

The police department already has anonymous tip hotlines for gun law enforcement, bombs & arson, drugs, gangs, and a superintendent’s hotline, also for reporting drug offenses.
Here's another approach to this issue but seemingly unrelated from CBS2:
Tilden High School Principal Marcey Sorenson's BlackBerry will keep her in communication with 30 others from the Tilden family -- security guards, administrators, teachers, police officers, parents and community leaders.

"We're all in communication," she said. "So, if there's a fight at 51st and Marshfield, we're notified. It's just to keep the communications loop so that students are safe."

Passing out cellphones to the community is a first for CPS. It's part of the district's Safe Passage Plan.

Adults are placed around the neighborhood to keep an eye on students as they travel to and from school. The advantage, say teachers, is nipping a potential conflict in the bud.

"Say if we found out there might be a fight," explains Sylvia Maayteh, a Tilden teacher. "We might be able to put them in a peace circle ... where they sit around and discuss the problem before it becomes a bigger problem."
Looks like there are plans in place to deal with the issue of violence by public schools students. Let's hope there are some cool headed and thoughtful students who will utilize the hotline. Also let's hope the communication amongst the adults in a given neighborhood can prevent a problem from becoming a serious one as well.

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