Chicago public schools are teaming up with a local Veterans’ organization called Leave No Veteran Behind to assure that Chicago schoolchildren are able to walk safely home from school as they pass through gang-infested neighborhoods. The Veterans are paid ten dollars an hour to “stand guard” along routes that students use to walk to and from school and are given two-way radios in order to quickly notify the authorities if they spot trouble. In many ways, the Veterans are preferable to the standard police escorts, since they are members of the community who simply want to let children know that “they’re there and they’ve got their backs.”
The principal of a Chicago public school has noted that the Veterans are extremely effective because “they don’t say a lot; they just watch. They don’t get in the way; they just watch. And it’s amazing… I think there’s some power in silence.”
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