DC Councilman Proposes Safe Passage Law for Students

A new law would aim to provide safe passage for students on their way to and from school, a D.C. council member said.

At-large D.C. Councilman David Grosso introduced legislation and a new approach the city can take to protect young students Tuesday. 

"Right now [students] are afraid to go to school and that's just not acceptable," Grosso said. "We see our attendance rates are down, we see anxiety rates are up. We need to do more as a city."

The push comes after two teens were murdered after leaving school in May 2018. 

Tyshon Perry was a 16-year-old honor student at KIPP DC College Preparatory. Jaylyn Wheeler was a freshman at Ballou High School who loved football and his family. Both boys were murdered in two different crimes shortly after leaving school.

"It's terrible. It's absolutely terrible," said Jenna Fite, D.C. resident and parent. 

The Safe Passage Act, which is sponsored by Grosso, aims to bring city agencies together to figure out how to get students to and from schools safely.

"There are adults that are hired to be on the streets with students as they're going to and from school. That's one area where I think we can see a lot of improvement," Grosso said.

Grosso also proposes a free shuttle service at metro stations that would take students to and from school.

Many D.C. parents that News4 spoke with were in favor of the proposal.

"I do think it’s a good idea for them to get some kind of a protection for kids going back and forth to school," one woman said.

It’s an idea that Grosso said will cost millions of dollars, but if it saves lives, it’s worth every dollar, he said.

"This is a $12 billion dollar budget. I don't see why we can't carve some of that money out to make sure that students are safe on their way to and from school," Grosso said.

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