English: President Barack Obama with White Hou...

English: President Barack Obama with White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel in the Oval Office on the first day at his new office. Français : Le président Barack Obama avec le chef de cabinet de la Maison Blanche Rahm Emanuel lors du premier jour dans le bureau ovale. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Thousands Protest School Closings in Chicago

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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! 

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