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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Chicago Public Schools to add more cameras, security personnel

Tribune:
When Chicago Public Schools open next month, some of the schools identified as troubled spots will see improved emergency procedures and more surveillance cameras and security personnel, school officials said Monday.

The new measures come after 26 students were killed during the last school year—mostly by gunfire—and 10 more were killed during a summer of violence, according to Chicago Public Schools.

Getting rid of firearms from schools is a top priority said Andres Durbak, director of the city schools' Office of Safety and Security.

"At schools we can deal with fights," Durbak said. "But we cannot have fights including weapons."

Neighborhood violence, particularly gang violence, also impacts school security, said Durbak, who oversees a budget of more than $50 million for the security of 409,000 students at 600 schools.

"Severe gang violence in the area affects our schools," he said. "When something happens in the evening, it comes and visits us in the morning."

Durbak stressed, however, that fights and killings near schools or close to dismissal times are rare. He also said that crime in schools is declining.
It's easy to critique this. At least this article doesn't mention having metal detectors and all that. It would be nice if these schools didn't need to take these precautions, unfortunately there are those out there who don't might bringing to school what happened the night before. I always thought treating school like going to court or visiting a loved one in jail was unfortunate even unnecessary.

I experienced fire alarms when I was in high school. Once there was a hat-trick (three in a row in one day), someone was doing that for kicks! At least aside from placing a rewards on the identities at least we can prevent some fool from pulling an alarm. That is really disruptive.

Also if Meeks is complaining about the money the city schools get, he might want to look at not what money is coming in. Meeks might also want to find out where that money is going. Security could become a drain on educational resources more than any budgetary shortfalls.

Finally why does this article have to start off with 26 students who were killed. Most of them were probably killed at home or in their neighborhoods. Indeed it's possible some didn't even attend a CPS school, that is they dropped out or attend an alternative school. There was one case that I know of where a student was killed outside of his school, it's mentioned in this article. Other than that those 26 CPS students killed this past year has nothing to do with these measures that the chief of security at CPS wants to institute.

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