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Students seek advice from police concerning safety at workplace
Daily Herald Staff Report
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Published: 8/4/2009 5:03 PM | Updated: 8/4/2009 9:46 PM

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Originally published Jan. 16, 1993

In the wake of the slayings of two schoolmates at a local fast-food restaurant where they worked, Palatine High School students on Friday learned how to make their own workplaces safer.

About 900 students al Palatine High School attended a schoolwide safety program taught by Palatine Crime Prevention Officer Brad Grossman and a representative of the Palatine Chamber of Commerce.

"I feel that the students were able to gain information about their safety on a more personal level," said Michelle Parke, who attended the meeting as part of her job as editor-in-chief of the Cutlass, the Palatine High School student newspaper.

Parke used to have part-lime jobs after school but said she quit them to spend more time working on the newspaper.

Many of the students work part-time jobs, often at night, and asked what precautions they could take to prevent a tragedy like the murder of seven employees one week ago at the Brown's Chicken & Pasta restaurant in Palatine.

Students, some of whom knew the two boys who were murdered, have spent a week dealing with the emotional effects of the mass slaying and the realization that no one is immune from violence.

"I went (to the meeting) because I have a job and I was wondering how I could make my job safe for me and for the employees," said one PHS student who works at an ice cream shop in downtown Palatine.

Officials told the students to avoid unlighted areas, stay in public places, pay attention to the surroundings and keep on the lookout for suspicious people.

Parke said many of the tips should be common sense. "That's probably one of your best self-defenses," Parke said. "Use your common sense -think, don't react."

While some students may feel uncomfortable asking a boss to install a steel door, better lighting or other safety features, Parke said most told her they have confidence in their employers and feel safe at work.

"I'm not scared, but I'm going to be more careful in general," said another PHS senior who works part-time at Kmart, less than a mile from the site of the slayings.