Neighborhood walk-through reveals dangers for CPS students

Neighborhood walk-through reveals dangers for CPS students

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Chicago parents are furious over a controversial school closing plan, which brings a new walk to a new school, full of new dangers.

While parents are demanding that the mayor "walk the walk," FOX 32's Darlene Hill did just that, with families who believe their children are headed into the line of fire.

"When we cross over on the other side of Pulaski, which is K-town, it's a lot of drug activity that goes on over there," one parent says. "The kids that live here in the area really don't know too much where they're going."

Parents know the risks and that's why they're fighting hard to keep their neighborhood school on the city's west side at 13th and Avers open.

Henson is one of 54 Chicago public schools slated to be closed. Their "welcoming school" is almost 12 blocks away and elementary students now have to walk through some dangerous areas to get there.

"Needles. Needles down on the ground. They be down here shooting their little drugs up," parent Chrystal Anderson says. "The ones who selling it, between this street right here and 15th."

It's not just needles, but also empty lots loaded with garbage and empty alcohol bottles, half straws used for drugs, and abandoned and boarded up homes.

"It's the gang rivalry that they have to walk across what parent would want their student….their child to have to come across kids that's gambling in the middle of the street drinking or selling drugs? We don't want that," Henson teacher Latonya Owens says.

While there's a street sign that reads ‘no loitering, gambling and drug activity,' the people standing in front of the corner store didn't seem to pay it any attention.

Parent Antoinette Baily has six children enrolled at Henson who will be making the walk to 15th and Tripp to Hughes School in September. It's a walk and lesson she doesn't want them to see.

"It's not safe," Bailey says. "It's a lot of traffic. You gotta worry about shooting. You gotta worry about drugs. I'm not trying to introduce my kids to that."

In an email to FOX 32 News, the Business Leadership Council said that, "sometimes the most comfortable path is not always the right one and the status quo needs to be exchanged for a future that will let our kids truly shine."

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