August 30, 2013 1:36 pm

CPS First Day of School is One of a Kind

Published by

safe passageNo students shot, CPS officials call the day a success

The first day of school arrived in Chicago on Monday, August 26th. The school community and the city’s mayor, Rahm Emanuel anxiously awaited the first day back to school for CPS students. After the district announced the closure of 54 schools in the spring, students and teachers spent the summer protesting their school closures, ultimately saving only a handful of schools from proposed closures.

Earlier this month, CPS announced new ‘Safe Passage’ routes that would allow students from closed schools to walk to schools safely in new neighborhoods. In the few weeks since CPS announced the locations of these routes, at least six fatal shootings have occurred on streets marked with ‘Safe Passage’ signs, including the fatal shooting of a 14 year-old student that occurred one block away from Melody Stem School, one of the welcoming schools.

On Monday afternoon, Rahm Emanuel reported that none of the district’s students had been shot during the commute to or from school. Many students feel outraged that their education is considered successful merely because they were not killed during their commute, a sentimentechoed by bloggers. Parents also complained of disorganization in schools, particularly for disabled students.

On Wednesday, hundreds of CPS students boycotted school in honor of the 50th anniversary of Martin Luther King’s march on Washington, protesting the lack of funding that has left their schools without much needed supplies, art and music classes, and extracurricular activities.