Teachers, supporters rally against closing schools - Dallas News | myFOXdfw.com

Teachers, supporters rally against closing schools

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Several hundred unionized teachers and their supporters rallied in Hyde Park Friday night.

They're vowing massive demonstrations of civil disobedience if the board of education goes ahead with plans to close 80 schools.

At a meeting organized by the Chicago Teachers Union, a series of speakers demanded the board of education abandon plans to close dozens of underperforming schools.

"You are not going to close any more schools in anybody's community," one of the speakers said.

Part of the proceedings involved planning for a protest parade through the Loop on March 27, about the time the board's expected to release a final list of school closings. Some are preparing for large-scale sit-ins at the targeted schools.

"Non-violent massive civil disobedience... if they go forward with this kind of a plan," said CTU Vice President Jesse Sharkey.

"I think it's a good idea. Maybe we need to do that to get Rahm's attention," said Ron Oliver, a Hyde Park resident.

"Whatever it takes, if you have to shut a school down to keep it open," said Wanda Collie, a South Side resident.

A member of the board of education insisted that only underperforming schools would be shut and that, in the long run, students would benefit.

"What makes me crazy is how many underperforming schools there are in minority areas. We need to fix that," said Andrea Zopp, Board of Education member.

"If you have to close a school for a day to keep it from closing forever, that's the kind of thing that people need to consider," Sharkey said.

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