By Suzanne Le Mignot

CHICAGO (CBS) — They say they’re being bullied beaten up, and that’s before they even get to school.

The new year is off to a frightening start for some Chicago students, CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot reports.

Yolanda Pettis says her son and other students attending Urban Prep Academy on the Near South Side have been harassed on a daily basis, by what appear to be neighborhood teens.

“He ran to the school,” she says. “Some gentleman was on a bike, and he was trying to approach my son, and just luckily, the gentleman lost his balance on the bike so my son was able to get into the school.”

Another parent, Heather Johnson, says: “The second day of school, my son came home and told me that three of the young men were robbed going to the bus stop and I asked, ‘Where were you?’ and he said, ‘We were right behind them.’”

Parents say students have been victims of robbery, intimidation and even physical violence on their way to and from school. Urban Prep is known for its track record of each senior getting into a four-year college.

The new campus is surrounded by public housing.

Parents say more police patrols before and after school are needed to keep their kids safe.

Chicago police say they are increasing patrols and working on a plan with the school to address the issue. School officials say they are working with the police and CPS to identify safe-passage routes. The CHA is working with police and CPS. 

CHA surveillance cameras have played a critical role in finding suspects.

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