Emanuel visits Dulles, makes no mention of nearby violence
BY STEFANO ESPOSITO Staff Reporter September 13, 2013 2:22PM
Mayor Rahm Emanuel stops Friday to talk to students at Dulles School of Excellence during a ribbon-cutting for the school's new playing field. Dulles has been rushing students and staff out of the school after dismissal because of recent nearby gun violence. | Stefano Esposito~Sun-Times
Updated: October 15, 2013 7:28AM
The principal of Dulles School of Excellence drew mostly praise from parents for urging staff to hustle students out at day’s end to keep them safe from neighborhood violence, but Mayor Rahm Emanuel made no mention of it during a visit to the school Friday.
“My kids are going to stay here until they graduate,” said Dennis Hudson, parent of a student at the school at 6311 S. Calumet. “They got good staff, a good principal and the kids feel more relaxed.”
The Chicago Sun-Times reported Friday that Dulles staff had received a Sept. 6 memo, urging staff — “for safety reasons” — to clear the building and parking lot immediately after school is dismissed at 3:30 p.m.
Emanuel was at the school Friday to cut the ribbon for a new playground and turf field. He chatted with staff and students, at one point bending down to tie the shoelaces of a little boy. But he made no mention of the Sun-Times story or possible security issues at the school. He left Friday without talking to reporters.
Dulles Principal Kesa Thurman spoke at the ribbon-cutting but was also not available for comment.
But Ald. Willie Cochran (20th), whose ward encompasses the school, said he understands the extra security, given the recent violence in the neighborhood.
“The violence has been taking place less than 200 yards from where I’m standing right now,” Cochran said. “I would have some concerns, too, about my children.”
Another parent, Larado Boler, has two children at Dulles and says the neighborhood surrounding the school is no worse than many others in the city.
“I don’t want to make my area look bad, say it’s a war zone, but I feel if you are a dedicated parent, you should be watching your children anyway,” said Boler, who like other parents, had heard nothing about the memo until she read about it in the Sun-Times.