CPS Protest Highlights Dangers Facing Displaced Chicago Students; Questions ‘Safety Routes’

Chicago parents and activists are holding a march today- dubbed Walk the Walk –  to draw attention to the “distances, safety concerns, and overcrowding potential” facing students displaced by the closing of over 50 Chicago Public Schools.

From the Huffington Post:

Around 8:30 a.m., the Raise Your Hand Coalition-led walk began in East Garfield Park at King Elementary on 740 S. Campbell and headed to the proposed receiving school, Jensen, at 3030 W. Harrison. The walk is roughly less than a mile and passes by Altgeld Park.

Fox News Contributor: Welfare and Food Stamps Make Poverty Feel ‘A Little Comfortable’

During an appearance on Fox News’ “Cavuto on Business,” contributor Charles Payne asserted that programs like welfare and food stamps can make poverty feel “a little comfortable.”

Adding that he speaks from personal experience, Payne elaborated:

From the Huffington Post:

“There’s this idea that between the food stamps and the welfare and the earned income tax credit and the child tax credit and the local programs, you know, it gets a little comfortable to be in poverty,” Payne said during a discussion on food stamp usage.

Tennessee Considers Bill Tying Welfare Benefits to Children’s Grades

Not to be outdone by a Kansas bill that would allow those who are HIV positive to be separated from those who don’t, the state of Tennessee is considering a bill that would tie welfare support to a child’s progress in school.

The legislation would allow a family to lose up to 30% of its assistance if their child(ren) are not performing well in school:

Under the legislation brought by two Republicans, a student who doesn’t not make “satisfactory progress” in school would cost his or her family up to 30 percent of its welfare assistance, the Knoxville News and Sentinel reported:

Ebony Magazine Examines the Struggles of Gun Violence Survivors in Chicago

As activists and community members continue to work to end the crisis of gun violence in Chicago, much of our attention is focused on the many lives lost in this struggle.

As Ebony Magazine points out, often lost in this conversation is the struggle of survivors of gun violence.

“[ENOUGH] Beyond Murders: Struggles of Shooting Survivors in Chicago” is a fascinating and vital article that delves deep into the harrowing experiences of those who escaped the clutches of death, only to be met with indifference and silence.

Former Classmates of Hadiya Pendleton Launch Anti-Violence Movement ‘Project Orange Tree’

Fed up with the violence that has claimed countless young lives in Chicago – including their former classmate Hadiya Pendleton – a group of King College Prep students have launched an anti-violence movement, Project Orange Tree.

The group will wear orange this Monday; and plan to fast until April 4th, the 45th anniversary of Dr. King’s death.

They’ve chosen orange because it’s the color hunters wear while in the wilderness, so they won’t be accidentally shot.

Should We Raise Age for Charging Young People as Adults?

A recent editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times asks if we should raise the age for charging young people as adults from 17 to 18.

A proposed Illinois state law would mandate that 17 year-olds be tried as juveniles for both misdemeanors and most felonies.

At 17, young people are on the cusp of adulthood, but still at an age where they are more capable of change than a full-fledged adult. Juvenile records can be expunged; an adult record will follow offenders for the rest of their lives.

If we “don’t allow 17-year-olds to vote, buy Lottery tickets or sign up for a credit card,” should we really be charging them as adults?

Rahm Emanuel Says Chicago School Closings Are Worth It to Save Children from Failing Schools

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.

Chicago Public Schools Announce 54 School Closures, Nearly 30,000 Students Affected

As expected, Chicago Public Schools announced the closing of an incredible number of schools; 54 to be exact.

It is the largest round of school closings in our nation’s history. These closures disproportionately impact black and brown students.

CPS argues these schools are underutilized due to “dwindling population in some predominantly black neighborhoods.” They expect to save $500,000 to $800,000 per school.