Thousands of teachers, school workers, parents and students joined a mass protest led by the Chicago Teachers Union Wednesday against the city’s plan to close 54 schools, most of them in African-American neighborhoods. About 150 people sat down in the road outside Chicago City Hall and locked their arms together, prepared to risk arrest. Roughly 130 people were detained by police. Teacher Phil Cantor was one of them.
Phil Cantor: “CPS has been closing schools for about 12 years now. Closing schools to save them is not a way to improve schools. Now they’re closing 54 or more in one year. It’s outrageous. It’s not going to help our students. It’s not going to help our schools. It’s going to destroy neighbors. We’re doing civil disobedience because we have to stand up. We cannot just keep letting these things happen without reacting.”
Some 30,000 students will be impacted by the closings. Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, President Obama’s former chief of staff, has defended the closings, saying he does not want students trapped in failing schools.
“Another broken promise, from a worthless politruk! Every word coming from his mouth is a lie!
- As CPS Students Rally Against Closings, District Prepares For Massive CTU Rally (progressillinois.com)
- Chicago Teachers Union, supporters gear up for rally on school closings (thegrio.com)
- Emanuel Makes First Public Comments On School Closings (progressillinois.com)
- Chicago Teachers Still on Strike!! (everydayfamily.com)
- AM News: Chicago Mayor Defends School Closings as Tough But Necessary (scholasticadministrator.typepad.com)
- Mayor: Chicago school closings tough but necessary (sfgate.com)