Students: Don’t Risk Lives For School


Trains. Long, big freight trains that cause tears to shed are the stories of people’s lives here in Franklin Park, IL.

Mr. Michael Grosch, the Dean at East Leyden High School for the past 26 years, stated trains “absolutely” have a negative impact on students. “Our students have often been late because of trains throughout the years,” Grosch says. 

When asked if being late to school heavily impacts students’ learning, Groche couldn’t agree more. Statistics have shown that not only does a student who is consistently arriving late to school establish bad punctuality habits, their tardiness also disrupts the learning of other students in their classes. Late students at Leyden are also penalized by the school if they receive too many tardies. Leyden hands out truants to kids who are consistently late, which is similar to a detention. Since it’s so important for students to arrive at school on time, many students will do just about anything to get across the tracks.

Not only do trains cause people to freak out, they push people to act out of character. Students here at East Leyden High School are constantly on the move, attempting to dodge trains to get to school on time. Because they are often in a rush, students who walk to school may not always make the smartest decisions, putting themselves in very risky situations. 

“It’s just not worth it. It’s not worth risking literally your life because you might be late to a class. We know if you’re late because of a train,” Grosch explains. “We will work with you if you’re late. Just come talk to me.”

In addition to students risking their safety when illegally crossing tracks, students can be given fines if they’re caught by police authorities. According to Illinois law, pedestrians who illegally cross train tracks when a train is present can be given up to $50 in fines for the first offense. 

Because trains have been a problem in Franklin Park for quite some time, many residents believe the community should raise money in order to carve out a pedestrian underpass. “It seems to me that you’re less likely to try to do something dangerous,” Grosch stated when asked about the underpass. 

Underpass or not, it’s important for students to be aware of their surroundings and make smart decisions when crossing tracks. Franklin Park will continue to try and solve this longstanding issue.