Kids Protest Violence At School Where Recess Was A Victim Of Gun Violence | WBEZ
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Kids Protest Violence At School Where Recess Was A Victim Of Gun Violence This Year

A Humboldt Park grammar school protesting gun violence says that just having kids play outside has become a radical act.

Nearly 450 students from Polaris Charter Academy marched through their neighborhood Thursday chanting, “We are not going away, we deserve a place to play!” They then flooded nearby Kells Park to play football, climb on the playground equipment and dance.

Students spent nearly all of February, March and most of April indoors — at a school whose focus is field trips and expeditionary learning. The school said it cancelled outdoor recess due to shootings nearby. The 11th Police District, where Polaris is located, has been one of Chicago’s most violent.

Polaris eighth graders polled their classmates and found 90 percent of seventh and eighth graders know someone who has been shot. Over 30 percent of students polled said they know at least five people who’ve been killed.

Correction: An earlier version of this web story and the audio story said police told the school to cancel recess. That was based on information provided by Polaris officials. The school now says community members urged the school to cancel recess.

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