Hazel Crest, Illinois leaders address safety concerns after shots fired at grade school cheerleaders

HAZEL CREST, Ill. (WLS) — Hazel Crest officials called for keeping kids safe Tuesday morning after they said grade school kids were the target of a shooting earlier this month.

It was a call to action for both the school community and the south suburbs after what officials call a uptick in violence near Jesse White Elementary School.

Although no one was hurt, officials are concerned if incidents continue, someone will be.

School officials said the first jarring incident happened on January 11 near the intersection of 169th Street and Anthony Avenue. That’s when someone opened fire on a group of cheerleaders walking home from the basketball game at Jesse White Elementary School.

Luckily, a teacher escorting the kids home was able to keep them safe.

The other incident happened the following day when a teacher’s car was stolen from the school parking lot.

District officials along with police and the mayor sounded the alarm Wednesday.

“This is what Hazel Crest 152.5 is all about: students and student safety,” Hazel Crest Schools Superintendent Dr. Kenneth Spells said. “In Hazel Crest 152.5, student safety is paramount. Everything we do is to make sure that our students are safe. We want our students to be concerned about getting into college instead of getting home.”

Group met again this morning and is planning a summit this weekend.

In the meantime, they are implementing a number of security protocols, including having parents pit up their kids from activities and extra police patrols and possibly a parent safe passage effort.

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