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Parents In Berkeley Furious Over School Field Trip To Jail

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Jail/Prison

(Credit: AP)

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BERKELEY, Ill. (CBS) — Some parents from west suburban Berkeley are angry, after their kindergarteners were taken on a field trip to a local jail.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, the kindergartners at Sunnyside Elementary School in Berkeley were supposed to be taking a field trip to the Hillside Library – at least that is what the permission slip sent to parents said.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports

But Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell reports the kindergartners were actually taken to a police station lockup Monday, and the 5- and 6-year-old children were locked up in a jail cell as part of the field trip.

More than one parent wants to know what conceivable reason the school could have for allowing such a trip for children so young, Mitchell reported.

Carmen Ware, the mother of Sunnyside kindergartner Stephen Ware, tells Mitchell that she doesn’t “get” the purpose of the trip, asking if it is supposed to be a “scared straight tactic.”

Stephen told his grandmother, Flora Ware, that he was shown a vest and a holster for a gun, as well as something that is placed on one’s ankle. Then he was placed in a jail cell and the door was shut and locked, she told Mitchell.

“What are they saying to kindergartners? If you don’t listen to us, this is where you are going to end up?” Flora Ware told the Sun-Times’ Mitchell.

It is not clear what jail the children visited. Berkeley police say they currently do not have a lockup.

School administrators are not offering any answers about the field trip.

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