Protesters speak out against school closings, turnarounds

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Protesters stand in the hallway in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office at City Hall.

Protesters stand in the hallway in front of Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office at City Hall.

In January, Chicago Public Schools will hold hearings on the proposed closing of four schools and the turnarounds of ten others. The Chicago Teachers Union and many community activists and parents oppose these efforts. A group took their concerns to the Mayor’s Office on Wednesday.

Michelle Young, president of Action Now, a grassroots organization in Austin, says she wants Mayor Rahm Emanuel to make time to meet with the group. He needs to  “put us on the calendar.” After four requests to meet with Emanuel, the community is frustrated, she said. 

Bettie Dancy tells the crowd that she is worried about sending her grandchildren, who attend schools slated for closing, to other neighborhoods because of the threat of gang violence. The City of Chicago will no longer “short-change black and brown children,” she asserted. “The direction of education in this city must change.” She closes her remarks with “Our schools will remain open.”