DETROIT (WWJ) – When it comes to education, it appears that just getting your child to school safely, is among the highest priorities for Detroit public school parents, academics a distance third.
And with another school year upon us, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin was among those talking student safety in the year ahead.
Martin says many students also express concern about their safety during their walk to and from school.
“It’s also the number one thing parents tell me they are worried about as it relates to their children attending school, safety is number one, customer service is number two and academic performance is number three in terms of how parents look at their priorities in terms of where they send their children to school,” said Martin.
“The blight, the dark streets, that is terrifying to a young person who has to walk to school,” said the Director of the Youth Violence Prevention and Initiative, Annie Ellington.
She says that most of the 50,000 plus Detroit public school kids are more afraid of simply getting to school.
Martin says a concentrated effort to increase safety including, ensuring “street lights illuminate, safe routes, blight is removed from around schools, enforcement resources are deployed across 34 safe zones and new signage is posted along safe routes.”
“These DDOT police will be at critical bus stops where we know there have been incidents,”said Martin. “We are looking for more assistance from law enforcement so that we know our safe route patrollers know that they have the back-up of sworn police officers.”
To that end, he says the district has created so-called “safe routes” for kids, with better lighting and security, in addition to removing blight around area schools.