HAZELNUT CREST, Ill. – Police and community leaders are increasing their focus on school safety after an increase Gun violence and crime around an elementary school in the southern suburbs hazel crest.
On Jan. 11, a group of students were driving home from a basketball game at Jesse White Elementary School at around 6:20 p.m. when a white car suddenly slowed down next to them and someone inside opened fire, according to a statement from school officials.
The car of a school administrator who was driving alongside students at the time of the shooting was damaged, but no one was injured in the crash along 170th Street, school officials said.
The next day, school officials say a teacher’s car was stolen from Jesse White Learning Academy during a volleyball game.
On Tuesday, Mayor Vernard Alsberry Jr. and school principals joined the police in addressing the problem.
“We will all work together to ensure that our students receive a proper education in the first place and that our students. Communication, we will put all resources possible to help our students,” said Kenneth Spells, Superintendent of School District of Hazel Crest 152 1/2.
Officials say Tuesday’s meeting was the first of many to address the rise in violent crime.
“This is a worrying time for our students. They should be worrying about algebra or English or US history. But now they’re just worried about getting home safely,” said Dean Barnett, school district president Hazel Crest 152 1/2.
“We have an obligation to their safety. I am grateful that all our stakeholders have stepped up their efforts to ensure safe travel to school. But also safe return home,” he added.