Pullman peace rally hopes to steer young people away from violence this summer

CHICAGO (WLS) – As Chicago students near the end of the school year, educators and law enforcement are pledging to support them through the summer months when many face violence army in their neighborhood.

At Gately Park in Pullman there was music and dancing on a beautiful Friday afternoon, but beneath it all lies a message of peace as students look ahead to the summer months without school.

The very first peace march in the far south took place on Friday in Pullman.

“This peace rally is centered on — is student-centered, youth-centered,” said Chicago Board of Education member Joyce Chapman.

But in light of recent mass shootings inside and outside the classroom, some students say they feel less safe during the summer months.

“But, now the school is no longer safe, so the only way to create that peace is if we all have a peaceful mindset,” said CPS junior student Nicole Whitney.

“Being a person who lives around this, it’s kind of terrible to hear,” sophomore Ra’Shyah Hoskins said. “You try to work, you try to take care of your family, and just to hear gunshots!”

This reality of armed violence within walking distance of most of the homes of these young people pushes school leaders and law enforcement to commit to supporting these students until their next school year.

“We want to see all students released on June 14 return to school in September as they left in June,” said 5th District Commander Glenn White.

“We keep trying! We keep being there for them because the worst thing we can do is just send them away,” said Charletta McDonald, CSI counselor at Morgan Park High School.

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