‘OPERATION SAFE PASSAGE’ | Parents keep kids home, fearing retaliation — so cops will escort them

Maudlyne Ihejirika:

“You got one of ours. We’re gonna get one of yours.”
That reality of gang life has kept nearly 200 Crane High School students from the ABLA Homes out of school since March 7, when a reputed gang member from ABLA gunned down another student who lived in rival gang territory. Their parents refuse to send them.
“You know they’re coming for somebody from ABLA, and it doesn’t have to be a gang member,” said a 16-year-old girl, a junior who was afraid to be identified.
So officials have come up with “Operation Safe Passage,” an unprecedented plan to protect students who fear they may be the next target.
Police to watch over buses
When spring break ends next week, Crane students from ABLA — also known as “the Village” — will gather at one central location each morning. CTA buses will pick them up after they’ve walked en masse to the bus stop.
Then a Chicago Police escort will follow the buses to a transfer point, where under the watchful eyes of even more officers, they will board second buses to Crane at 2245 W. Jackson. They will enter the school under police watch.