Chicago Neighborhood Angered by School's Closing
On a sunny morning on Chicago's South Side, students and community members gathered to protest outside Walter H. Dyett High School, which is in the first year of a
The object of their symbolic protest last month: a chained front door. Students said that being forced to enter through the back door violates their rights. Inside, Principal Charles Campbell said the front door is closed for safety reasons. Dyett was built to hold 1,200 students, and its student body had dwindled to 180.
The tension over Dyett's unused door reflects disputes over school closings throughout the 400,000-student district. While the district contends closing schools will bring much-needed improvements, those actions are often felt in the affected communities as traumatic blows to students and families. Closings' impact on teachers and students —and fears that closed schools would be replaced by charter schools—were also central issues last month in the bitter,...
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