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LOCAL News :: Children & Education

Support the Occupation at Whittier Elementary

Parents and students occupy building at Whittier School- demand meeting with Huberman. Call for support!
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photo by Miguel Vazquez-La Voz
Parents at Whittier Elementary School tell School System “NO MORE!”
Call for Support, Food, Water and Pressure on Huberman

Parents at Whittier School have taken over the small fieldhouse on the playground and are demanding that the building be converted into a library for the students. The occupation has continued 24 hours a day for 3 days. On Thursday, Chicago School System security tried to force their way into the building, pushing and shoving parents and children. At least 6 Chicago Police officers showed up and threatened arrests for kidnapping, child endangerment. The police left when the Spanish language television stations showed up to interview the parents and community members participating in the action. Other community activists, teachers and legal support arrived. On Friday around noon, the police arrived with more forces and sealed off the block the school is on. Residents had to show identification to get in to go to their homes. The police remained until school was let out and the teachers and students leaving the building and the parents coming to get their children just went through the police lines. Currently supporters are accompanying the protest. The fieldhouse has been used for after-school programs, but several weeks ago the Chicago School System declared that the building would be demolished to build a soccer field that would be used by the nearby Cristo Rey High School (a private, Catholic high school). Parents, students and school activists were outraged. Whittier School on South Damen Avenue and 23rd Street has about 400 students from the Pilsen and Heart of Chicago neighborhood it is a bilingual school. It has no kitchen, no library and the parents themselves have made improvements in the school such as a science lab. As one parent said, “again they want to take from the poor and give to the rich”.
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inside the occupied building
photo Miguel Vazquez - La Voz
Click on image for a larger version

community demands books no demolition
photo Miguel Vazquez - La Voz



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