On Monday, a new student organization delivered a letter to Mayor Emanuel, calling his proposal to close 54 public schools “a racist decision” that targets black, Latino, and low-income communities.
After a press conference at Chicago Public School headquarters, about 30 members of Chicago Students Organizing to Save Our Schools (CSOSOS) and a few dozen supporters marched to City Hall. They stood silently with fists in the air outside of the mayor’s office. One student leader politely asked the police officers blocking the entrance if a representative would meet with them. When no one came out, the students began chanting “We want Rahm!” louder and louder, but to no avail.
CSOSOS then read their letter out loud, by mic check. They are demanding a moratorium on school closings, a better way for TIF funds to be used for schools, and an elected school board.
Marvin Ochoa, a CSOSOS student leader and an eighth grader at Diego, which will be consolidated with Von Humboldt, told the Occupied Chicago Tribune: “If Rahm wants us to have better schools, he needs to fund them.” Concerning CPS CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett’s claim that receiving schools, like Diego, will get more resources and programming, Ochoa says, “They’re saying there’ll be iPads and science labs, but I don’t need that. I need my security.”
The students’ letter ended by saying the mayor should expect them to be back. And they ended their action by saying they’d be there again on Wednesday for the mass rally against school closings.
By Joel Handley. See more photos of Monday’s action from Sarah-Jane Rhee here.