Students Advocate For Safe Passage Solutions at Citywide Convening

Through our partnership with the Deputy Mayor for Education’s Office, KIPP DC has hosted a series of Safe Passage town halls at schools across Washington, D.C that culminated with a citywide convening at KIPP DC College Preparatory on Wednesday.  More than 200 attendees were joined by Deputy Mayor for Education Paul Kihn, as well as leaders from WMATA, the Metropolitan Police Department, and other community organizations to find solutions that remove one barrier towards a great education—safe travel for students to and from school.

“What you see here is the culmination of the work we’ve done citywide to try and address this issue,” said chief community engagement and growth officer Jacque Patterson. “We want to make sure that we’re getting your perspective on what safe passage looks like and hear directly from the students that have to go through it every single day.”

Students and leaders across Washington, D.C. worked together throughout Wednesday’s program and produced thoughtful, practical solutions to address an unfortunate issue too many students across the District face. “We’re here because students should be able to get to and from school safely every day. We’re here because we want to hear from you. We here because we want to take your ideas and make them action,” said Althea Holford, managing director of real estate and community relations.

Shuttle buses to get students to and from metro stops safely, more informed training for school resource officers and uniformed personnel who interact with students during their commute, and an app that can notify students and families of danger or give guidance on safe routes were all student-led ideas that came out of our conversations.

“Getting to and from school safely is something I think a lot of people take for granted,” said Brittany, a student a KIPP DC College Preparatory. “We’re here today as students because we see these issues firsthand and want to use our voice to make our communities safer.”

And their voices were heard loud and clear, as the Deputy Mayor for Education committed $50,000 toward implementing student recommendations that came out of Wednesday’s convening and WMATA and MPD committed to better training for officers and forging trusting relationships with students.

While Wednesday’s citywide convening was our last in this series, the work to ensure students can travel to and from school safely will continue. With the voice of our students and support from civic and community leaders, together we can build a brighter, safer District of Columbia.

Learn more about Safe Passage and resources available for students and families!

Posted on May 16, 2019 in Community