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Philly schools will pay community members to keep kids safe on their way to and from school amid gun violence crisis

By Kristen A. Graham | October 28, 2021

Former Stoneleigh Fellow and current Board Member Kevin Bethel was recently featured by The Philadelphia Inquirer for his announcement that the Philadelphia School District will begin paying community members to keep students safe on their way to and from school.

The Philadelphia School District will spend close to a million dollars over the next three years to station members of the community in targeted communities in an effort to keep children safe on their way to and from schools.

Based on a Chicago program, Philadelphia’s plan will start at four high schools: Lincoln, Motivation, Sayre, and Roxborough, and expand to others. The “Safe Path” program will pay trusted community members and equip them with radios and bright, reflective vests to serve as eyes and ears — not to take physical action against anyone armed with a gun. Kevin Bethel, the district’s chief of school safety, said he wants Safe Path operational before the end of the school year.

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