Why did more than 100 people (students, parents, grandparents, and community members) demonstrate and sit-in outside of Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s office today?

By Bob George and Betsy L. Angert | Originally Published at EmpathyEducates. September 23, 4:13 PM EDT Updated: September 23, 2014 11:23 PM | Photograph; Jitu Brown (left), Bob George (right), parents, students, the Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, and the Journey For Justice Alliance say #SaveDyett We are stand with the #Dyett 13
We, the people, wish to right a wrong. Our Neighborhood High School Walter H Dyett High School is under siege. The School Board, Alderman Will Burns, and the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel have given us ample reason to believe we must save our children, save their schools; take action. We can no longer stand by and watch our public education system bleed.

Consider the classrooms. Look at the curriculum, and ask yourself, does the Mayor, the School Board, or the Alderman have an interest in serving our children’s needs? Might it be that the 3 D’s Destabilization, Disinvestment and Disenfranchisement live? Currently, Dyett students in their senior year can only take the majority of their classes online. Imagine physical education delivered online. Get up out of your seat. Stand up and compete. Run. Dance. Exercise and your life will be complete. Mister Mayor, the School Board, and Alderman Burns, remember the people are watching.

The School Board and the Mayor are watching their pennies replete. Rahm’s latest plan: Close the schools, build an arena, just not one that serves our children. Oh there was a time… a brand new Dyett High School gym was built in 2009. It had a pool, but today Dyett students cannot use it. It costs money to clean and maintain a school., more to manage a pool. For a new upscale sports arena, with a hotel and shopping facilities there are tons of funds. Fifty-five

[$55] million of property tax dollars will do just fine for a beginning. The Tax Increment Financing (TIF) funds supplemented by another $70 million will make the investment complete.

An arena used for 30 days out of the year, is the Mayor’s, the School Board’s, and the Alderman’s priority. And what about our children? Can they compete? There are no after-school activities… none. No American College Testing [ACT] prep classes. No Advanced Placement [AP] courses. There are seniors who were promised they could finish their school career, this year here at Dyett. The School Board, the Mayor and the Superintendent are big on promises. Promises they do not keep

For three years now Dyett students have been without the courses, staffing and funding afforded “normal” High School. They are being phased out. Turned about. Taunted and tempted to attend alternative schools. Abandon your neighborhood school. Close the doors. Shut the windows. Leave your memories behind. Dyett, the Mayor, the Superintendent, and the School Board, deem will not continue to exist.

At present, Dyett is the only remaining Neighborhood High School available to the students in the Historic Bronzeville Community. This school is the only one in which students have a legal right to admission. Other learning institutions insist that students qualify for entrance, win a lottery to enroll, or be selected for admittance after a rigorous screening.

Why do we stand? We stand in support of our children! Destabilization, Disinvestment and Disenfranchisement cannot live, or at least not in a democracy. Gentrification defeats our children. Move the black, the brown, and the poor out. Gentrification is not the answer, if there were a question. It is the “persistence of segregation and class—even in the face of huge reinvestment schemes”—that lives.

The city, Mayor, and School Board know they can Destabilize, Disinvest, and Disenfranchise and it will be fine . They know that for the many Black and Brown children of Bronzeville and their parents will not be seen, or so it seems. But we will. We will – we will. We implore you to also take up the creed.

We cannot continue to close Bronzeville schools!

We must stand by, for, and with our children!

Treat our babies as humans! Our communities as consequential.

We count as do our schools!

We have hopes and dreams. We have rights!!!! And we have freedoms, granted by the United States Constitution.

Please Join the movement. Revitalize Dyett High School and Support the Demand of the Dyett 13! It is time, past time to invest in our all American Communities!

References and Resources…


One Comment

  1. […] Black parents, grandparents, clergy and activists enter day four of hunger strike to save high school National civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson joins strike – Learn more here! […]

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