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CPS boycott coincides with March on Washington anniversary, budget voting

Wednesday, August 28, 2013
1 day boycott of CPS CPS boycott under way CPS Boycott kicks off

A rally in front of Chicago Public Schools Headquarters marked the start of a one day boycott.

Parents, community activists and students took a day out of school to demonstrate their frustration with CPS decisions and demand the board members be elected. It coincided with the 50th Anniversary of Martin Luther King Jr.'s March on Washington.

"Fifty years later we still have young people being escorted to school by armed guard. My son should not have to walk next to a police officer in 2013 when there is a perfectly good school across the street from his house," Jitu Brown, Kenwood Oakland Community Organization, said.

"Boycotting because massive budget cuts and school closure are an attack on our children and our entire city," Rousemary Vega said.

While the protest happened outside, inside the building the Chicago School Board of Education met in a regular meeting.

"We need to thank and congratulate the extraordinary effort of the management team, the principals and the teachers who actually delivered a first class opening day," Chicago Board of Education President David Vitale said.

The board would later approve the budget for next year and get a commitment from the schools CEO.

"There are no more changes. The are no more big rocks. We can't move anything else. We need to move the agenda toward teaching and learning," Chicago Public Schools CEO Barbara Byrd-Bennett said.

The protestors then marched through the Loop to City Hall, where they presented a proposal to Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

"We cannot sit in our own communities. We cannot just be concerned about our own children. We have to be concerned about what's happening on the West Side and the South Side," Erica Clark, Parents 4 Teachers, said.

"It's important because public education is under attack. We are not getting the proper resources we need," said Dyett High School student Diamond McCullough.

"I chose to come here, because if we let this happen they're going to keep thinking they can do things like this and I am very passionate about this, so that is why I came down here," said Ashley Haynes, a student at Dyett High School.

Chicago is one of 25 cities nationwide taking part in rallies and marches today.

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