Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel responded to widespread criticism regarding the closing of over 50 Chicago public schools.
According to Emanuel, the decision was a difficult one, but worth it to ensure that students aren’t trapped in failing schools.
Emanuel was out of town last week when CPS chief Barbara Byrd-Bennett announced the closings. Nearly 30,000 students will be affected; most of them African American.
“If we don’t make these changes, we haven’t lived up to our responsibility as adults to the children of the city of Chicago,” Emanuel said in his first public statements since Thursday’s announcement. “And I did not run for office to shirk my responsibility.”
Opponents protested outside of several schools on Friday, and the Chicago Teachers Union and other organizations are planning a march Wednesday in downtown Chicago.
Parent Yolanda Harris called the plan “unfair” and said she was starting to second-guess her decision to vote for Emanuel for mayor. Her four children attend Dumas Technology Academy, which is slated to be closed.
“It’s not to say (Emanuel) is a bad person, but I’m saying I don’t agree with a lot of the decisions he’s making,” said Harris, who protested outside the South Side school Friday with other parents. “He’s making big mistakes.”
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