Last week, Mayor Rahm Emanuel fired back at the idea of arming teachers in schools.
“It is absurd anyway you look at it by President Trump, that the best way to protect our kids is to bring more guns into schools,” Emanuel said. “I want to make sure our teachers are armed with education and textbooks.”
But apparently, there isn’t much the mayor can do with actually keeping schools open.
After closing a third of all Chicago Public Schools in 2013, four more schools are now scheduled to be permanently closed, all in the predominantly African-American South Side neighborhood of Englewood.
The schools to be closed are Harper, Hope, Robeson, and Team Englewood.
The decision was put to a vote by the Chicago Board of Education, which according the Chicago Sun-Times, were backed by what CPS calls “community support.”
“Some of us have seen eye-to-eye on these plans, and some of us have not,” said the new CPS CEO Janice Jackson.
“But we have listened to all of you. And as a result of your feedback – feedback we received through a comprehensive engagement process that included everything from large public hearings to small parent gatherings on the weekend – our plans are now stronger.”
CPS allocates money to schools based on enrollment. The number of students has dropped so far in these schools that CPS can no longer offer a full courseload.
Robeson High School at 6835 S Normal Blvd. will be closed in June at the end of the school year. There are plans for a new $85 million school to open to 9th graders in 2019 on that site. Harper may eventually reopen as a different kind of school.
The National Teacher’s Academy at 55 W. Cermak, another primarily African-American school in the South Loop, will merge South Loop Elementary School. The building on Cermak will be converted into a high school.
The vote was protested by students that led to a march on City Hall and a sit-in.
“You don’t give us the things that we need,” Hope Sophomore Miracle Boyd told the Board. “Whether you kill us slow or kill us fast, you still kill us,” she said.