Aaron Bastow's Daughter Selected For Safe Swap Program
NEWS 10/06/2039 9:49 PM ET
Aaron Bastow's Daughter Selected For Safe Swap Program
by Crystal Henshaw

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Safe Swap is the first public program of its kind to tackle inequality.
Chicago's roll out of its privilege-swapping scheme will begin Monday with Bears quarterback Aaron Bastow's daughter.

Chicago Mayor Susan Shine-Court held a press conference this morning to inaugurate the Safe Swap program, which will see Chicago officials remove 50 children from privileged homes and swap them with underprivileged children elsewhere in the city.

Mayor Shine-Court took time to stress that participants were randomly selected utilizing Chicago residents' social security numbers.

"Over the weekend city officials ran a computer algorithm specially designed for the purpose of selecting suitable participants for the Safe Swap program, incorporating a range of factors designed to ensure a seamless transition between homes for each and every child."

Mayor Shine-Court's announcement did not address the Bastow family's inclusion in the program.

Bastow's daughter Jessika, 11, was the child selected for relocation. She attends the prestigious Decatur Classical Elementary School along with four of her siblings. Pairings have not been published, so no information is available regarding which child will be relocated with the Bastows.

The scheme, first announced last year has drawn both praise and condemnation from various government and advocacy groups. President Stader came out in support of the program earlier this year, along with the state governments of California, Oregon, Colorado, Pennsylvania, and New York. City Mayors across the nation congratulated Chicago on its innovative approach to combating inequality.

The program is sponsored by Klumbo CEO Richard Filipano, who Mayor Shine-Court credited with the initial idea two years ago.

According to the program's website, Safe Swap entails a year long residence with a family on the other end of the privilege spectrum, for the purposes of "engaging a diverse and holistic range of experiences" for each child. Chicago has the third highest level of economic and social inequality in the nation.

Children will be permitted to see their parents for an hour each weekend, accompanied by a city employee.

Mayor Shine-Court did not address the issue of resistance to the swap, but did mention that Chicago Police Department officers will accompany Safe Swap program employees during initial relocations, which begin this weekend.

Groups such as the Alliance Defending Freedom and the Society For American Children have strongly opposed the scheme. ADF attempted legal action to stop Safe Swap from proceeding but was ruled against by Appeals Court judge Peter O'Keller. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case.

Parents such as the Bastows will be able to lodge objections to their swap but only to the extent that they feel the child being relocated with them will be an unsuitable fit. The Bastows will be informed today of their swap.

Aaron Bastow has been a vocal advocate of homophobic, transphobic, speciephobic, and anti-choice positions and has been fined and suspended numerous times by the NFL. He is a Heisman Trophy-winner who has won three Superbowls.

Neither he nor the Chicago Bears have made any statements regarding the Safe Swap program.
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