Strong words from Mayor Johnson about Chicago during celebration of Safe Passage workers

Safe Passage workers were celebrated at a rally in Chicago Tuesday ahead of school starting next week.

Mayor Brandon Johnson and the CEO of Chicago Public Schools, Pedro Martinez, were there to celebrate them.

Twelve-hundred Safe Passage workers are placed along popular school pedestrian routes to help ensure students safely get to school Monday through Friday.

The district launched the program in 2009 with 35 schools and has since expanded to serve 188 schools.


The workers must be able to build relationships with students and de-escalate conflicts.

Twenty workers were honored during the rally for their exceptional work connecting with students and the community.

Johnson offered them words of motivation.

"The work that you do: it goes well beyond the daily walk to school. Your contribution is building communities because every single child that crosses your path represents something bigger than an individual. They represent our neighborhoods. Now, there's a lot to be said about the neighborhoods of Chicago, but there is one thing for sure, if you're not offering solutions or hope for our neighborhoods, shut your mouth about the city of Chicago," said Johnson.

CPS students return to the classroom in six days.