CHICAGO (CBS) — It was a powerful scene inside St. Sabina Church to say goodbye to a boy killed in an alley.
The murder was no accident. Police say gang bangers targeted 9-year-old Tyshawn Lee. His funeral triggered concerns of retaliation at St. Sabina School.
CBS 2’s Dorothy Tucker takes us inside in this Original Reports.
When asked if they were afraid to come to school, half the class raised their hands at St. Sabina. The other half didn’t show up because of fear the funeral next door at the church would end in violence.
While nine-year-old Tyshawn Lee, executed by gangs, was laid to rest, students who could see his waiting hearse outside their windows admit they were distracted.
“I was scared to come to school,” said student Paul Harris. “I didn’t want the same thing to happen to me so I just wanted to stay home but my mom said that I needed to come to school and get an education.”
The majority of students didn’t come to school today, 149 absent out of a total population of 267.
The rumors of violence were enough to prompt school administrators to send a letter and deliver a robo call acknowledging parents’ concerns making attendance optional.
An army of officers who surrounded the church also kept an eye on the school. Doors are always locked, but today no one was allowed outside. P.E. classes were held inside and children weren’t allowed out for recess.
While it wasn’t an ideal situation, students felt the love.
“Teachers care about us and if anything happens they’ll protect us,” said Idaijah Flowers.
The school day at St. Sabina ended without any trouble. School resumes tomorrow.