Intelligence Report: CPS CEO Brizard denies rumors he resigned

September 12, 2012 (CHICAGO)

That's not true and he quickly sent an e-mail to teachers.

However, they never got that e-mail.

The reason that Brizard's e-mail wasn't seen by striking teachers is because the teachers don't have mail. The I-Team has learned that Chicago Public Schools switched off the e-mail accounts of the strikers.

It is believed that all 30,000 teachers and support staff who walked off the job have now been cut off of their electronic lifeline.

It was apparently at a teacher's rally Wednesday morning that the rumor of started: Brizard had resigned as president of Chicago Public Schools.

Even though it wasn't true that the mayor's hand-picked school boss had quit, the story took off on Twitter.

"That was really a strange thing," said Brizard. "I was sitting in a meeting on the 10th floor, and my phone was going off and telling me I resigned, and that was news to me...My assumption is that it was meant to distract a lot of people. I made sure I put that to bed quite quickly."

Brizard planned to do that -- put the rumors to bed -- by sending an e-mail to CPS teachers and staff. The e-mail invoked a great Mark Twain line: "Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated."

"The report is a lie," Brizard wrote. "Keep the faith," he told employees.

But Brizard's e-mail didn't get to the thousands of people who were supposed to see it. CPS had already turned off access to the e-mail accounts by teachers and other staffers who are on strike.

Late Wednesday afternoon, a CPS spokesperson told the I-Team, "Teachers are on strike, and since they're not in the classroom, they no longer have access to their schools, phone, e-mail, or computers. That's considered a standard practice."

School officials are not saying how the e-mail shutoff was accomplished or how quickly it can be turned back on.

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