Teachers, parents, activists march on to save Chicago schools on chopping block
BY MATT MCKINNEY Sun-Times Media May 19, 2013 5:01PM
Walking against all Chicago Public School closings, marchers walk down South Union Street to Dewey Elementary School, Sunday May 19, 2013. | Jessica Koscielniak ~ Sun-Times
Updated: June 21, 2013 6:29AM
Dozens of Chicago teachers, parents and students marched for the second consecutive day Sunday on the South and West Sides as they protested the proposed closing of 54 local public chools.
At Dewey Elementary School, 5415 S. Union, a group of students played basketball as the crowd approached with a megaphone.
“Whose schools? Our schools,” the crowd chanted from across the playground.
Though not facing closure, Dewey is on the list of “turnaround schools,” which means its teachers and administrators could be replaced if approved by the Chicago Board of Education.
The board will decide the fate of 54 schools on Wednesday.
Matthew Johnson, 40, of Englewood, has two sons who attend Dewey.
“We need to get our teachers standing up and staying engaged with our students,” he said. “That’s the only way to [fix this.]”
Zenitra Hodges, 23, of West Englewood, studies psychology at Kentucky State University.
She learned about the march Sunday morning and decided to join.
“My parents instilled with me the importance of education, but there are tons of kids who go without that,” she said. “So I’m here to help change that.”
Marchers, who walked miles Saturday between schools on the South and West Sides slated for closure, will conclude their walk Monday with a rally at 4:30 p.m. in Daley Plaza.