Rogers Park –(ENEWSPF)—December 10, 2015. On Thursday morning, December 10, 25 Rogers Park community parents and students, who lost Gale school as a bus stop for children who travel out of the neighborhood to school, held a press conference regarding the unsafe and lengthy walk to the new bus stop. The parents sent a letter to CPS, requesting a meeting, a form letter was sent back. Parents made phone calls and hand delivered dozens of letters from students, families, and other community members invested in the safety of local children, those attempts were completely ignored. The lack of response from Chicago Public Schools Transportation department has left parents feeling disrespected, on a matter of urgency for their children. The pre- dawn trudge made by parents and children, has had many negative implications, students are arriving more frequently late to school, missing more days of school, and because of the extremely early wake-up time students are generally less enthusiastic and alert. There are many safety concerns as well, parents are worried about violence, street traffic, and the health and wellbeing of their children walking a mile in Chicago’s harsh winter conditions. Economic hardship has also been expressed through this upheaval, parents have purchased cell phones, for children walking alone, as well as paying for public transportation. The families affected are overwhelmingly people of color with limited resources, so these costs have added an additional burden to already struggling people.
The walk took place at 6 am, the time that students now must begin their walk to the new bus site, at Gale school 1631 W Jonquil Terrace, the former bus site. The culminating press conference took place at 6:30 am at Field School 7019 N. Ashland, the current bus stop.
“CPS isn’t listening to us. We invited them to take this half hour walk with us, but no response. Our children are walking in the dark, crossing gang lines, when other people haven’t even gotten out of bed! Then they do it again in the afternoon. My children are exhausted. How can they be expected to succeed, when they need to wake up at 5 am every morning?” said Shannon Phillips, a parent.