|Pre-schoolers cross Belmont at Sheffield today, steps from the site of Friday’s double-shooting (Wes Ingram)|
In the wake of three shootings near its front door last week, a Lakeview pre-school and day care center says it will have lockdown drills and will teach children “a get low song [or] saying” to help them remember what to do if there’s “ever an extreme situation with gun violence.”
|Police and EMS on-scene after Friday’s shooting (CWB Reader)|
L & L Academy and Preschool, 1056 W. Belmont, informed parents of the plans in an email Monday afternoon.
“We have never had an extreme emergency at any of the schools but are aware that crime has recently been rising in the neighborhood,” a school executive wrote. “We hope this will NEVER happen, but we want to be as prepared as possible for any situation.”
A 27-year-old man was critically wounded in a shooting behind the 1200 block of W. Belmont last Monday evening and two people were injured in a drive-by gang shooting near the 1000 block of W. Belmont early Friday. No one is in custody for either case. Neither incident occurred during the school’s operating hours.
One L & L parent understood the need for the school’s actions. But, “when I get emails like this…the gun violence in our ward is obviously a massive problem.”
Among the discussions being had with the school’s children and teachers are “lock down procedures and outdoor emergency procedures” that will be practiced while on walks and in local parks.
“If on a walk and nothing is nearby, we will also have a get low song/saying for the kids to practice and find something to get behind if possible,” the email said.
”We are having staff meetings this week where we will be going over various scenarios.”
In a Facebook post today, local alderman Tom Tunney wrote that police executives “have been in contact and are finalizing a plan to directly focus resources in area.”
As of this evening—-a full week after the first of three person shot near the school was hit—those plans have not been formalized.
At least one other local pre-school practices so-called “stranger drills,” according to a CWB Chicago follower.
The school leader made it clear that the staff is “not mentioning guns to kids…just explaining that this is what we might have to do in case of an emergency to stay safe.”